Cameroon’s Song signs for West Ham

LONDON, Reuters

Cameroon international defender Rigobert Song has signed for West Ham from fellow English premier league club Liverpool for 2.5 million pounds (US$3.54 million), West Ham said on Tuesday.

West Ham identified 24-year-old Song last week as a possible replacement for Rio Ferdinand, who was transferred to Leeds United at the weekend for a world record fee for a defender of 18 million pounds.

Song told the West Ham website he was happy with the move to London and had no bad feelings about his departure from Liverpool.

“You have to respect the wishes of the manager and his team selection. He brought players like (German international Markus) Babbel in but I still played four times for Liverpool this season and I certainly don’t think it didn’t work out there.”

Earlier in the season Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier refused to release Song, the former Cameroon captain, for the Olympics.

Cameroon won the Olympic title without Song and he has since lost the captaincy of the national team because of his lack of first team football.

Song, the first player to have been sent off in two World Cup final tournaments, joined Liverpool in January 1999 from Italian club Salernitana for 2.6 million pounds.