West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola has conceded that there will be a lot of players leaving Upton Park in the January transfer window. However, Zola is adamant that key players such as reported Arsenal target Matthew Upson and Robert Green, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur will not be leaving the East London club.
The Hammers currently have 36 first-team squad members at Upton Park, with former Chelsea player Zola knowing that he will have to sell a majority of the fringe players at West Ham, who are unlikely to make the grade in the Premier League.
Zola insists that he has been promised that he won’t have to sell the likes of Upson or Green or any other key player at the Hammers in January, but as former boss Alan Curbishley found out in the summer it is easier said than done to move these players on.
“Matty is not for sale either now or in January," Zola said.
“I don’t have to sell any of my best players. I have been promised that.
“But when we have all the players back fit we will have to make some decisions. For me, it's not worth having 24 players and having some players only training and not playing. It's not good for them or for us.
“So yes, we will probably be selling some players but we'll decide only when I have the full squad training and then I can make my decision. The players who are not playing here regularly we will give them the possibility of playing a little bit more or going somewhere else.
“But we won't be selling our best players. The club intends to keep and to sign good players who we think have a good future at the club.”
However, with the board at West Ham still reeling from the Icelandic bank collapse any big offer for a player is sure to be given serious consideration by the Hammers, who could go back on any promise made to Zola when the transfer window opens in January.