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Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 15:42 UK

Zola chasing new Hammers contract

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola
Zola succeeded Alan Curbishley as Hammers boss in September 2008

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola is confident of signing a new deal despite the off-field uncertainty at the club.

Owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is trying to sell the club and will have to hand it over to his major creditor, the bank Straumur, if he cannot do so.

Despite this uncertainty, Zola told the Evening Standard newspaper: "I have started something here and hopefully there will be no contract problems."

Zola took over from Alan Curbishley as Hammers boss in September.

The Italian has reiterated that his coaching team, including assistant Steve Clarke, must stay intact in order for him to remain at the club.

"The club knows that is the first condition," he said. "This is not just about me but the whole team.

"The secret this season has been that everybody has done a great job together and now we must go forward as a team, otherwise we will stay where we are."

Zola has guided the Hammers to seventh place in the Premier League and within touching distance of a Europa Cup place.

"We know that if we play in Europe we will need more players, but I am not going to have more than a maximum of 22 players," Zola said.

"I know I risk a little bit when I go for a small number like that but I believe I gain something else.

"Maybe I will have three, four or five very good young players in the reserves who are ready to come in when they are needed."

Staumur hopes Gudmundsson can sell West Ham and return the cash his holding company, Hansa, owes to it.

If this does not happen, Staumur, which is now run by government-appointed officials after itself going into administration, will take control of West Ham.

There is currently a moratorium preventing any of Hansa's creditors seizing West Ham before 9 June.



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see also
Ilunga commits future to West Ham
15 Apr 09 |  West Ham
West Ham tie down Noble & Tomkins
07 Apr 09 |  West Ham
West Ham's Zola gamble
11 Sep 08 |  West Ham
West Ham unveil Zola as new boss
11 Sep 08 |  West Ham
Zola ready to take West Ham job
11 Sep 08 |  West Ham


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