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Clarke finalises Hammers switch

PUBLISHED: 14:24 18 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:38 05 October 2010

West Ham have installed Steve Clarke as assistant manager at Upton Park as it emerged that Jose Mourinho recommended his former No2 to Gianfranco Zola.

By JONATHAN CLEGG

West Ham have installed Steve Clarke as assistant manager at Upton Park after agreeing to pay Chelsea around £1.2m in compensation this week as it emerged that Jose Mourinho recommended his former No2 to Gianfranco Zola.

Clarke has joined the Hammers on a three-year deal following an acrimonious departure from Chelsea, who rejected his resignation last week and were reported to be seeking a financial settlement of up to £5m for the Scot.

Clarke, who had two years remaining on his deal at Stamford Bridge, is the second addition to the coaching staff since Zola's appointment last week. Fitness coach Antonio Pintus, another ex-Chelsea employee, has also been recruited by the club.

Hammers chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "We are very pleased to welcome Steve Clarke to the club. Steve is rightly regarded as one of the top coaches in Europe and his experience and knowledge will be a huge asset to us.

"He recognises what we are trying to achieve at West Ham and wants to be a part of that. We have worked very hard to bring him on board and are confident we now have the perfect coaching team."

Chelsea's dissatisfaction at losing Clarke will have been exacerbated by the news that former manager Mourinho had urged Zola to lure the 45-year-old to Upton Park.

Mourinho and Clarke enjoyed a successful partnership during their three years at Stamford Bridge and the Internazionale boss gave Clarke a ringing endorsement in a phone conversation with Zola last week.

Mourinho promoted Clarke from youth-team coach to his assistant after becoming Chelsea's manager in June 2004 and the pair won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups.

Zola, who played with Clarke during his seven-year spell at Chelsea, had no experience of him as a coach but Mourinho is understood to have told the Italian that he would receive top quality support from the former Blues defender.

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