West Ham close in on Rat

Romanian captain Razvan Rat is on the verge of joining West Ham United on a free transfer, the Daily Express understands.

The 31-year-old, who made his international debut in 2002, is currently plying his trade with Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine, a club he has represented with loyalty for the past decade.

However, his current contract expires at the end of June, and Sam Allardyce seems to have edged out Marseille in landing the left back.

Allardyce recently said: “To improve we just need to add better players, it’s as simple as that.

“If we get better players, then we improve. If we can do that, then we get better and we become an established Premier League side.”

Rat played for Romania in Euro 2008, and with 88 caps is the eighth most capped Romanian player of all-time.

He started his playing career with Rapid Bucharest, and has played a huge role in Shakhtar Donetsk’s recent domination of the Ukrainian league, winning the main prize on six separate occasions, along with the 2009 UEFA Cup.

He has made almost 300 appearances for Shakhtar in all competitions, scoring 10 times.

The east Londoners are also targeting Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale and Everton’s Nikica Jelavic as they focus on improving from their current 10th position for next season.

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