West Ham have completed the signing of Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg later today.

The Hammers unveiled the 30-year-old Sweden international at a press conference at 1400 on Monday.

Ljungberg, who was Arsenal’s longest serving player, struggled with injury last season and played just 26 games. He joined Arsenal in 1998 in a £3m deal.

Fiorentina and Manchester City had been linked with the midfielder, but it appears West Ham have won the race for his signature.

“It was the right time to go,” said the Swede.

“It was a difficult decision but when Thierry Henry left it felt like the end. I am coming here to build a great team and I am looking forward to it.”

“Two years ago when I signed my last contract we talked a lot about the future and about bringing great players to the club,” Ljungberg explained.

“Despite building the new stadium we wanted to stay top in England and do well in Europe. For me that didn’t really happen.”

And the Sweden captain says he is looking forward to a new challenge.

“When I spoke to Arsene Wenger, he wanted me to stay,” Ljungberg added.

“But, at the same time, I feel it had to be something very, very special for me to leave.

“For me it is about why I wanted to join West Ham, not why I wanted to leave Arsenal.

“The reason I wanted to join is because of West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson.

“He wants to take West Ham to the top of the country. He is willing to go on the market and buy great players and mix them with youth players from the academy.

“I am really happy to be here and he wants me to help take this club forward. It feels like a big challenge and I am really happy with it.”