WEST HAM have beaten off European giants to land Manchester United starlet Ademipo Odubeko.
The striker, who was 17 on Monday, praised the Hammers for "promoting young players" – after he signed despite interest from Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Odubeko – known as Mipo – rejected United's new two-year offer as he reportedly believes he should be closer to the first team after hitting 35-age group goals last term.
The Republic of Ireland Under-17 star, who has also been linked with Newcastle, Burnley and Atletico Madrid, told West Ham's website: It’s a really exciting day.
“I’ve been waiting for this move for a while, so I’m looking forward to getting started.
“West Ham is a club with a lot of history behind it. It promotes its young players, so it’s a great opportunity for me to develop my game and help the team.
“I’m looking forward to moving to London – it’ll be a little different to Manchester, so it’s an exciting challenge.”
The Hammers say he will start in their U-18 squad – but academy boss Ricky Martin hopes he will also contribute to at least the U-23s this term.
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Martin told www.whufc.com: “Mipo signing for West Ham is another really positive story for the Academy,”
“It will naturally take Mipo some time to settle in, but we believe West Ham is the perfect environment for Mipo to flourish and fulfil his undoubted potential.
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“He’ll start with the Under-18s and will enjoy opportunities to work, develop his own game, and act as a focal point in attack for different age groups, including the Under-23s.
“I’m sure Mipo will want to make a big impact by scoring goals, so we’re really looking forward to seeing him working with two teams who’ve started the season really well.”
Feyenoord and Genoa are also thought to have monitored Odubeko, who can also play for Nigeria.