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Monday, July 13, 1998 Published at 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK

Sport: Football: News

Wright moves to West Ham

Ian Wright leaves north London for east London

West Ham have confirmed the signing of Ian Wright from London rivals Arsenal on a two-year contract.

Arsenal's all-time leading goal scorer had talks with West Ham manager Harry Redknapp last week after saying it might be time to move on from Arsenal during the World Cup.

Redknapp said: "Ian has an awful lot to offer as a player and as a person. He is a great character whether on the pitch or in the dressing-room. I would say he is the most enthusiastic footballer I have ever come across."

Wright led the Arsenal attack after being signed in 1991 for 2.5m. He holds the club's high scoring record having broken Cliff Bastin's record of 178 on September 13 last year.

A favourite with the Gunners' fans, Wright is said to have been concerned that he would not get a first team place in the 1998/9 season at Highbury after manager Arsene Wenger had been shopping in the summer transfer market.

[ image: Arsene Wenger]
Arsene Wenger
Wenger on the look-out

Arsene Wenger brought the team double victory in the 1997/8 season by combining home-grown with European talent. He has been reported as scouring the summer transfer market.

World Cup final goal-scorer Emmanuel Petit, who was brought to Arsenal by Wenger, has said the manager is "the greatest man I know".

Wenger is said to have bid 3.5m for Standard Liege's Lokonda Mpenza, who was in the Belgian World Cup squad. Reports also say he is interested in Javier Margas, Chile's defender who impressed in the World Cup.

But Wenger has been quoted as rejecting any link with a bid for Dutch star Patrick Kluivert.

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