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Guillermo Franco determined to make major impact at West Ham

PUBLISHED: 18:24 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:53 05 October 2010

Gelsenkirchen, GERMANY:  Mexican forward Guillermo Franco looks dejected at the end of the World Cup 2006 group D football game Portugal vs. Mexico, 21 June 2006 at Gelsenkirchen stadium. Portugal won 2-1.  AFP PHOTO OMAR TORRES  (Photo credit should read OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)

Gelsenkirchen, GERMANY: Mexican forward Guillermo Franco looks dejected at the end of the World Cup 2006 group D football game Portugal vs. Mexico, 21 June 2006 at Gelsenkirchen stadium. Portugal won 2-1. AFP PHOTO OMAR TORRES (Photo credit should read OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)

2006 AFP

Guillermo Franco is aiming to make a major impact at West Ham and prove that he still has a future in European football

By JONATHAN CLEGG

Guillermo Franco is aiming to make a major impact at West Ham and prove that he still has a future in European football.

Franco, 32, is poised to sign a one-year deal at Upton Park this week after undergoing a medical and agreeing personal terms with the club.

The Mexico international is currently a free agent following his release from Villareal in the summer and had appeared close to joining Argentinian outfit Estudiantes last month.

But the striker, who scored 14 goals in 81 appearances during an injury-plagued spell in Spain, has opted for a switch to the Premier League in a bid to show that he can still perform at the highest level.

He said: "I am very happy to go to West Ham because I wanted to stay in Europe and to move to England if possible.

"One of the things that I wanted to experience is the style of play in the Premier League and to see what they do to be so physically strong.

"It is very different to the Spanish game and of course I will have to adapt, but I am excited about the challenge.

"I am very motivated and happy for this new stage in my career.

My cycle in Spain ended and it was very positive because of everything that I experienced in Villarreal, but I am going to West Ham with the same will and same desire of doing things right and of working hard."

Franco, who was born in Argentina but took Mexican citizenship in 2002, was surprisingly recalled to the Mexico national team by manager Javier Aguirre this summer despite not having a club contract.

The striker, who has scored six goals in 18 international matches, believes his spell at West Ham will improve his chances of booking a place in Mexico's World Cup squad, although he added that he could extend his stay at Upton Park after the tournament in South Africa.

"The contract is until June even though in principle West Ham wanted it to be a two-year contract," he said.

"We wanted it to be only a year, then we will see because the World Cup is coming up and that is the most important thing.


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