Labant Set for Move to West Ham

Last updated : 09 January 2002 By Mike Reich
Labant in action for Sparta
West Ham are looking to sign Vladimir Labant from Sparta Prague.

Labant is a left-back who has a great left foot. In fact, he took free kicks, corners and penalties for Sparta.

Although he isn't an EU player (which would negate the need for a work permit), due to his vast International experience for Slovakia, obtaining a work permit should be easy.

Glenn Roeder describes him thus: "Labant is substantially a left-footed player who can play at full-back, wing back or left side in a 4-4-2.

"He's a tall, athletic player who has played in the Champions League for the last two years. I watched him do well for Sparta Prague against Feyenoord in Rotterdam and he played against Arsenal last season."

He is a friend of Tomas Repka as well as a compatriot of Hammers goalkeeper coach, Ludek Miklosko, who says "We have already agreed on the terms of the deal.

"When he came to have a look at West Ham he was thrilled by the atmosphere at the games, and agreed to join us immediately."

The fee is still not known, although reports speculate that it is around £1m, although that seems a very low fee for such a talented player. With the terms of the deal sorted with both club and player, the only potential stumbling block left is the medical, which Valdimir is flying in for tonight according to the Sparta website.

Although the West Ham Official Site has yet to comment (as often is the case), the Sparta site ( if you can read Czech) has a report on it, stating that the medical is taking place tonight, and that talks have been going on.

This would be seem to be a fantastic move it were to happen: he obviously has the credentials, as he came second in the Slovakian player of the year 2001, and was the top defender by some way.

Glenn seems to have pulled off another great transfer deal here, and he is keen to emphasise that the deal is not dependent on any Paolo di Canio deal with Manchester United, "We badly need more players in the squad and this was something we were looking to do anyway. He will be a welcome addition and, hopefully, just the first of several new faces."