Zola moves for 7m Inter midfielder Jimenez as first of three new West Ham signings
West Ham United are closing in on Inter Milan's Chile midfielder Luis Jimenez. The club hope to agree terms in the next 48 hours, with the player moving initially on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent £7m deal. A work permit has already been secured for Jimenez on Friday, after manager Gianfranco Zola told his superiors to make a move before rival bidders had a chance to sign the player. Scott Duxbury, West Ham's chief executive, and Gianluca Nani, the technical director, flew to Milan over the weekend with the intention of securing a deal with Inter for the 24-year-old. Jimenez has been a bit-part player since signing for the Italian champions last summer and is keen to leave to find first-team football. Fiorentina and Parma are also said to be keen on the attacking midfielder but, Jimenez sees West Ham as an ideal location. The former Ternana, Fiorentina and Lazio player, who has been capped 19 times by his country, has played nearly all his football in Serie A and wants to move to another country. West Ham hope to agree terms with both Inter and the player's representatives shortly. His medical could take place before the weekend. Zola hopes Nani, who will remain in Italy this week, will also secure a further Serie A player and also finalise plans for a third player. All three moves are likely to be initial loan deals, favoured because of their low risk factor and, in the case with the defender Herita Ilunga last season, successful. However, the club's new owners, CB Holding, are not in a position to dedicate large amounts of money to transfers. But Jimenez's arrival indicates that the club remain committed to significantly strengthening their hand this summer in the hope of improving on last season's ninth-place finish.
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