West Ham agree deal to sign Iván Ramis as Hammers continue summer strengthening
West Ham have reached an agreement with Real Mallorca for the transfer of defender Ivan Ramis. In an official statement, the Spanish side confirmed that the 27-year-old will shortly undergo a medical at Upton Park, although the size of the fee was not revealed.
It represents something of a coup for the Hammers as Ramis was linked with a number of other Premier League clubs, including Wigan, but West Ham appear to have won the race for his signature.
Born in Mallorca, Ramis came through the youth ranks of his local side and made his senior debut in 2004. He was sent on loan to Real Valladolid in the 2005/06 season and seemed to benefit from a spell in the Spanish second division as he quickly established himself as a key member of the Mallorca backline upon his return.
He has continued his development in recent years and was one of just seven La Liga players to make more than 300 clearances, blocks and interceptions last season.
Ramis will add much needed competition for places at the heart of West Ham’s defence, with James Tomkins and Winston Reid currently the only recognised senior central defenders at the club.
West Ham’s transfer dealings so far
Following the completion of the deal, Ramis will become the latest addition to Sam Allardyce’s side.
Goalkeepers Jussi Jaaskelainen, Stephen Henderson and Raphael Spiegel have already joined during the summer transfer window, along with defender George McCartney, midfielder Mohamed Diame and striker Modibo Maiga.
Allardyce’s decision to bring in former Bolton star Jaaskelainen, a player who he worked with during his time at the Reebok, is a shrewd one and will ensure that the Irons have a keeper with plenty of experience to replace Rob Green.
Left-back McCartney spent last season on loan at Upton Park and has made the switch permanent. The former Northern Ireland international won the Players’ Player of the Year award last year for his consistent performances and will provide much needed Premiership experience at the back.
Meanwhile, Henderson, who signed from Portsmouth on a permanent basis having spent the second half of last season on loan at Upton Park, and 19-year-old Swiss keeper Spiegel will provide adequate backup to the Finn.
Senegalese defensive-midfielder Diame will add bite to the centre of the park and could form an effective partnership with captain Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble in the middle.
Further forward, Mali striker Maiga will challenge the likes of Carlton Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te for a starting berth up front. Hammers fans will be hoping he continues to consistently find the back of the net as he did at former club Sochaux, where he bagged 24 goals in 52 league games for the Ligue 1 side.
What they need
As many Premier League games are so tight, a bit of skill and magic is often all that separates teams at the end of 90 minutes and West Ham still require an attacking midfielder who can create something out of nothing. A move for former fans’ favourite Joe Cole would fit the bill, though the Liverpool player has expressed a desire to try and make his time at Anfield a success following his loan spell at Lille last year.
Former Manchester United prodigy Ravel Morrison could fill the void but he only managed one substitute appearance during the whole of last year as stories of indiscipline continued to surface.
Expect Big Sam to bring in a flair player before the transfer window slams shut, as well as a pacy winger who could make an impact off the bench.
Laurence Taylor, Football Correspondent