West Ham United have bolstered their striking options ahead of the new season with the signing of Metz forward Diafra Sakho for a fee of £4.5m.

The 24-year-old forward joins the Hammers on a four-year deal from the Ligue 1 side.

Bar a loan spell with Boulogne, Sakho has spent his entire professional career with Les Graoullys, scoring 39 league goals in the past two seasons as the club rose from the National to Ligue 1.

Voted as Ligue 2’s player of the year for 2013/14, Sakho scored 20 league goals in 37 appearances.

Speaking to the club’s website, Diafra said of his move: "This is a proud day to have signed for West Ham, I really love English football and I've dreamed of coming to play for one of the big English clubs. Today, West Ham have given me that opportunity and I didn't hesitate to grab it.

"I'm looking forward to playing. It's more than a month now that I've been training for this and right now I think I'd be ready to pull on the club colours.”

He added: "I've come here to continue as I was at Metz. I'm going to give it my all, going flat out on the pitch and I think the fans will appreciate that."

Born in Guediawaye, Senegal, the six foot forward won his first cap for the West African nation in May this year and has scored his first goal against Kosovo four days later.

A move for Sakho looked to have stalled earlier in the week when the French club criticised the Hammers for their conduct during negotiations, releasing the following statement:

“The English club decided to propose to FC Metz a loan with option to purchase, which absolutely does not correspond to the expectations of FC Metz and contradicts all terms and conditions that had been validated specifically late last week between the two clubs.

“FC Metz regret a clear lack of serious and unacceptable disrespect from West Ham against FC Metz but also in respect of the player.

“As a result, FC Metz reserves the right to address international sports courts to assert their rights and defend their interests.”

Diafra becomes West Ham’s seventh signing of the summer.