Npower Championship high-flyers West Ham United have today received a boost by closing on deals for both George John and Ryoichi Maeda.
Relatively unknown quantities in the English game, John is an American centre-back from MLS side FC Dallas, and was subject of a failed bid by Blackburn Rovers in the summer transfer window.
Maeda is a 30-year-old Japanese international striker who has been on trial at Upton Park from his native J-League side Jubilo Iwata.
It's understood that John will join the club on an initial loan ahead of a view to a permanent summer switch, and Maeda is being lined up for a potential two-year deal worth some $1.9 million a year.
The news may not excite Hammers' fans as much as a further potential January move for Huddersfield hotshot Jordan Rhodes, but manager Sam Allardyce is pleased with the impending new additions.
Of John, he said: "He's a good defender, of the right stature, and the right ability and the right ambition who sees his future in this country."
Furthermore, Allardyce said of Maeda: "He's a player with a proven track record, I have to decide if he can play a part in the team quickly."
The West Ham boss will make a decision by Monday regarding the latter signing, but the John deal should be clinched after the weekend game with Portsmouth.