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Senegal and France battle over West Ham's Sakho

DECISION TIME: Sakho (PA)

WEST HAM'S new boy on the block Diafra Sakho has to choose between France and Senegal as he decides where his international future lies.

The new Hammers striker has made an impressive start at Upton Park, scoring seven goals in as many games.

The Senegalese-born forward joined the east London club from FC Metz in the summer on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old has already played twice at international level for Senegal, but is yet to play a part in a competitive fixture, therefore is eligible to play for a different nation.

This has not been lost on Les Bleus boss Didier Deshamps, who is keen on securing Sakho for himself. By playing in France for Metz for five years qualifies him as a French resident, making him entitled to play for France.

The tug-of-war brings back memories of Patrick Vieira's choice when he made his debut for France in 1997. Vieira, born in Senegal, decided to play for France as he was a French resident, and the ex-Arsenal legend went on to win the 1998 World Cup, 2000 Euros and the 2001 Fifa Confederations Cup with Les Bleus.

Senegalese manager Alain Giresse has expressed a desire for Sakho to join up with the West African and said he will give the striker his debut in Senegal's upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt and Botswana.

Sakho currently has a shoulder injury that was picked up in the 2-1 win over Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend (Oct 25) in which he scored the winner.

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