Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Katan set for Upton Park
Israel and Maccabi Haifa striker Yaniv Katan has agreed terms with West Ham United, and awaits only a medical and work permit before making the final move on 1 January.
Should all go well the 24-year-old will be reunited with his former teammate Yossi Benayoun at Upton Park, who recommended the talented hitman to gaffer Alan Pardew.
"We are delighted to have secured the signature of Yaniv Katan and we expect him to become an important member of our squad," said Pardew. "The chance to sign a player of his quality was a great opportunity for West Ham and one that we could not miss. His signing represents a good deal for the club and will give us the resources to further add to the squad when the transfer window opens in January."
Katan looks forward to his new challenge. "It's a great moment for me," he said. "One of the things which made me want to come and play for West Ham was the presence of Yossi as we've been talking about playing together again for a while. Now it's up to me to prove my worth. I know I have no promises regarding playing time and that I will have to work hard. I realise that I'll be playing clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea soon, so I have tons of motivation."
Katan has been with Maccabi Haifa for fifteen years, rising quickly through the youth system as a prolific striker. By the age of 17 he was a regular in the side, and in the '00-01 season scored a hat-trick in the Champions League against Finland's FC Haka. He also scored twice against Manchester United in the Champions League in the following season.
He has been capped 20 times, making his debut at age 19, and has scored four times for his country.
Katan looks set to sign until the end of the 2008/2009 season.