West Ham confirm deal to sign Everton defender Heitinga

Everton defender John Heitinga is close to a move to West Ham, BBC Sport has reported, after Hammers manager Sam Allardyce confirmed the Toffees had accepted their approach.

Heitinga has been out of favour at Goodison Park under Roberto Martinez, with the Spaniard preferring to pair Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin. With Jagielka ruled out in late December against Southampton, Martinez chose Antolin Alcaraz to partner Distin over Heitinga, and when Distin was forced to miss the New Year’s Day game at Stoke City, Alcaraz was paired with youngster John Stones. Heitinga was on the bench against the Saints but not involved at the Potters.

We’ve had the OK from Everton and we’re talking to his agent at the moment so hopefully that will happen in the next day or so,” said Allardyce. West Ham have had to contend with the loss of Winston Reid, James Collins and James Tomkins, depriving Allardyce of his regular centre-back combinations.

Heitinga moved to Everton from Atletico Madrid in 2009, going on to make 137 appearances for the club and being named the team’s Player of the Year in 2012, but he has not featured in the league this season under Martinez.

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