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West Ham close in on Ajax striker Miralem Sulejmani

PUBLISHED: 16:39 12 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:18 05 October 2010

Miralem Sulejmani has been desperate to leave Ajax

Miralem Sulejmani has been desperate to leave Ajax

Serbian striker Miralem Sulejmani is close to having his wish granted and is set to join West Ham on a season-long loan deal.

Serbian striker Miralem Sulejmani is close to having his wish granted and is set to join West Ham on a season-long loan deal.

The Ajax striker, who became their most expensive ever signing when they paid rivals Heerenveen £13million for his services in 2008, has been pushing for a move to the Premier League for some time and it seems only a work permit denial now stands in his way.

"I am happy that I will play in the strongest league in Europe," he said

"I think that I am up to the challenge and I am convinced that I will get the chance and the opportunities, as Avram Grant was very positive about my qualities."

"West Ham United would be, for me, a new start at a new club. The coach there, Avram Grant, is a coach who sees me as a great talent."

The Hammers have shown interest in the 21-year-old, for some time but the original move was put on hold after Ajax coach Martin Jol said he wished to keep the player at the Amsterdam ArenA.

"I would like at Ajax players who prefer to play here. But Sulejmani was a big investment, so I've a little knot in my stomach about letting him go," Jol said a few weeks ago.

The Serb was furious with Jol for not letting him talk to West Ham and launched a stinging attack on the Dutchman in the press.

"Jol wants to destroy my career. 'I do not know why," he said.

"As Jol took over, my status changed and this is the biggest reason that I would like to change my environment."

Sulejmani was left out of the Serbian World Cup squad and has yet to score a senior goal for his country, while he has found the net 10 times in 44 appearances for Ajax.

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