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Fulham manager Chris Coleman said he was sorry to see Boa Morte go, but did not want to prevent him leaving: “I am of course disappointed that Luis has decided his future is not with Fulham. He has been a great servant to the club and we all wish him well.”

“However, I have always said that if a player is not happy playing for this club and expresses a desire to go, then I would be prepared to let him leave, and this was the case with Luis. Having discussed this with the chairman and the managing director, we believe it is in the best interest of the club to invest in players who are prepared to commit their future to us.”

Coleman said that Fulham had no intention of becoming a selling club. “We will continue to add strength and depth this window and, if necessary, the next, to ensure that we have a strong enough squad of players for the future to enable us to push on as a club, which remains our ambition,” he added.

Boa Morte played 250 games for Fulham, scoring 54 goals after joining from Southampton in a £1.7m deal in 2001. The Lisbon-born player began his Premiership career with Arsenal.

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley said “I’m very pleased that we have been able to get the deal done so quickly.” “I like players who are versatile, and Luis can play on the left, on the right, through the middle as a centre-forward, and even as an attacking midfielder. He is also very experienced, which is something I think we need and have been endeavouring to bring in. We have some very exciting young players, but I just felt we needed more experience in certain areas to help them out.”

The commitment of some of West Ham’s players has been questioned and Curbishley believes Boa Morte’s arrival may spur some of the squad on: “The signing also puts other players under pressure, and that is what football is all about. Luis has great pace, a fantastic left foot, and he makes and scores goals. He is also very much a team player, and I am delighted to have got him.”