West Ham on verge of joining PL elite - Noble

Mark Noble believes West Ham are close to establishing themselves among the Premier League's elite as they prepare to move stadiums.

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Mark Noble believes West Ham are close to establishing themselves among the Premier League's elite as they prepare to move stadiums.

West Ham, like Leicester City and Tottenham, have defied the odds to be challenging for a Champion League qualification berth this season.

Under manager Slaven Bilic, West Ham are fifth, only a point adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City, while the Londoners are preparing to host Manchester United in a FA Cup quarter-final replay.

And captain Noble feels things will only get better when West Ham swap Upton Park for the Olympic Stadium next season, on top of the lucrative television deal set to come into play in 2016-17.

"We are moving to the Olympic Stadium and we have been told the 54,000 capacity will be increased to 60,000. That shows you the way the club's going," said Noble.

"And the money in the game now means we are able to keep hold of our best players. Most of the 'lesser' clubs in football can buy equally good players.

"We've just signed Dimitri Payet for another five years. We've signed Manu Lanzini. We have Cheikhou Kouyate on a long contract.

"The board have done a great job in getting everyone. That shows you the ambition at the club."

Following the international break, Noble and West Ham will host Crystal Place on Saturday.

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