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Premier League

Grant has work permit approved

West Ham confirmed last night that Avram Grant has had his work permit application approved to allow him to become the club's manager.

The Israeli agreed a four-year contract last week to succeed Gianfranco Zola at Upton Park and was awaiting only approval from the Home Office.

That has now been secured and he can begin his new role on an official basis.

Grant had already made former Aston Villa and Stuttgart midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger his first signing last Saturday.

Co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold previously hailed the 55-year-old's appointment as the "beginning of a new era".

The Hammers only narrowly avoided relegation last season, an outcome which ultimately cost Zola his job.

Speaking at the time of Grant signing his contract, Gold told the club's official website, www.whufc.com: "I have to say that having met Avram and spent some time with him, we have got our man. He is a perfect fit.

"We needed experience and stability. He's a footballing man and quite frankly his reputation speaks for itself."

Sullivan added: "I'm delighted to welcome Avram to West Ham and am confident he will prove a success.

"We have taken our time over this appointment and are certain we have got the right man.

"We are all looking forward to next season with new players coming in and Avram's arrival is just the latest reason for real optimism."