West Ham 'to sign' Luca Toni

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The Independent Online

West Ham United are likely to sign Luca Toni ahead of the new Premier League season, according to the agent of the Bayern Munich and Italy striker.

Toni, 32, ended last season - his second in Germany - as Bayern's leading goalscorer.



However, the summer arrivals of Ivica Olic and Mario Gomez are expected to push him down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena.



Bayern claim the striker remains an integral part of their squad, but agent Jose Alberti believes a move to England with the Hammers is a real possibility.



Toni is keen to play as much first-team football as possible in the hope of playing his way into Italy's World Cup squad for next summer.



Referring to possible season-long loan move to Upton Park, Alberti claimed: "I think it will happen.



"At Bayern he is not playing and (West Ham boss Gianfranco) Zola is a great friend of his."



Meanwhile, Bayern defender Martin Demichelis will miss the first two months of the new Bundesliga season after damaging ankle ligaments.



The Argentina international suffered torn ligaments during training earlier in the week and is facing at least seven weeks on the sidelines.



New coach Louis van Gaal must now decide which youngster from Holger Badstuber and Breno should play alongside Daniel van Buyten during the opening weeks of the campaign.



"The length of this injury break is obviously bitter," said sporting director Christian Nerlinger.



"Martin has trained very intensely and played in the starting XI against Neckarelz.



"Let's just hope that the healing process goes perfectly and we can have him back as soon as possible."



Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin have added defender Rasmus Bengtsson to their ranks on the eve of the new Bundesliga season.



The 23-year-old has joined from Swedish outfit Trelleborg in time to make his debut against Hannover in their season opener at the weekend.



"We are delighted to have been able to take Rasmus Bengtsson under contract," said general manager Michael Preetz.



Coach Lucien Favre added: "Our scouts have been watching Rasmus Bengtsson for a long time, most recently at the Under-21s European Championships in Sweden.



"Rasmus has a lot of potential, is well trained and therefore he fits in well with us."

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