West Ham have secured the signing of Romanian captain Razvan Rat on a free transfer.
Rat, a defender, joins from Shakhtar Donetsk and West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes the 31-year-old will provide an injection of quality to the club.
“I’m hugely happy that we’ve got a player of his experience and his character,” Allardyce told the club’s official website.
“He’s been playing Champions League football this year and at the highest level for many years. Shakhtar had offered him a very good contract, but his ambition was to come and try his abilities and skills in England.
“When you hear somebody speak so positively about that, then you know they’ve got the mental character that’s needed to do well in this division.
“We certainly know he’s got the ability and he’s at an age where he’s still capable of producing at 31.”
During his time at Shakhtar, Rat won seven Ukrainian Premier League titles, four Ukrainian Cups and the UEFA Cup.
In total, he made 248 appearances for the club, including 57 in the UEFA Champions League.
Meanwhile, forward Carlton Cole’s future at the club looks to be in doubt after he suggested he was on his way out.
Writing on his Twitter account, Cole said: “Life is filled with ups & downs today is a down but i’ll be back! Carlton Cole/CFC as i have been called has left the building #UNDERCHUFFED
“i want to thank the West Ham fans for their support especially the 1′s who made the away games feel like a home 1 #COYI
“i came to East London not knowing what to expect but i’m glad i did the last 7 years I’ve met a lot of good honest decent people #THANKYOU”