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Neill turns down new Hammers deal

West Ham United defender Lucas Neill
Neill will not be starring in a West Ham shirt next season

West Ham United defender Lucas Neill has rejected the offer of a new one-year contract.

The Hammers confirmed that the 31-year-old Australian, who arrived from Blackburn for £1.5 million in January 2007, was now seeking another club.

Neill's agent Darren Jackson said on Monday that his client had hoped to extend his stay at West Ham, but added there was interest from other clubs.

The club website also revealed a list of 12 players remaining with West Ham.

These include Herita Ilunga, whose permanent transfer from Toulouse for an undisclosed fee comes into force this summer, Jack Collison, Mark Noble, Savio Nsereko and Freddie Sears.

Junior Stanislas, Marek Stech, James Tomkins, Dean Ashton, Valon Behrami, Carlton Cole and the club's player of the year Scott Parker will also be featuring for the Hammers next season.

Manager Gianfranco Zola is looking to build on his impressive start at Upton Park after finishing ninth in the Premier League.

But the Italian now has the task of finding a new full-back following the news of Neill's departure.

606: DEBATE
West Ham Captain

Neill had been seeking a new settlement, but the signs were ominous two days ago when Jackson (his agent), talking about the ongoing negotiations, said: "The longer it goes on, the more likely it's not going to happen."

Jackson also revealed that his client had rejected an initial offer because he "didn't feel it reflected his value as a player and captain".

As well as eyeing new employers, Neill is on international duty this month.

Australia have three World Cup qualifiers - away to Qatar and then at home against Bahrain and Japan - and they require just a single point to guarantee participation in South Africa next summer.

The West Ham website also revealed that Diego Tristan, Lee Bowyer, Walter Lopez, Kyel Reid, Tony Stokes and Jimmy Walker were all free to leave the club.

It added that the loans spells of Jan Lastuvka (from Shakhtar Donetsk), Radoslav Kovac (Spartak Moscow) and David Di Michele (Torino) had come to an end.

Meanwhile, it was announced on Wednesday that goalkeeper Peter Kurucz had signed a four-year deal.

The Hungary Under-21 keeper has been on loan from Budapest side Ujpest FC since February, making his debut for the reserve team against Aston Villa in March.

The 21-year-old was also named as a substitute in the senior squad for the first time at Everton last month.



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see also
West Ham 2-1 Middlesbrough
24 May 09 |  Premier League
Zola praises Hammers turnaround
23 May 09 |  West Ham
Hammers face Uefa licence hearing
08 May 09 |  West Ham
Interview - Gianfranco Zola
09 May 09 |  Football Focus
West Ham chairman 300m in debt
06 May 09 |  West Ham


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