Zola - I am in control
Gianfranco Zola insists he has full control of his squad, despite contract talks with players being postponed.
Last Updated: 06/03/10 12:26pm
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola insists that he has full control of his squad, despite contract talks with a number of key players being postponed until the end of the season.
New co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan will wait to see if the Hammers stave off relegation before renewing the deals of the top earners at the club - including England internationals Matthew Upson and Robert Green - and now Valon Behrami is the latest star to face uncertainty about his future.
Zola has refuted claims that the new regime has threatened to undermine his authority, and claims that he still has the final say on contracts and transfers at Upton Park.
"Of course I still have the final say," Zola told the Daily Mirror: "When it comes to football, I tell the owners my preferences and which players I want.
"I know there have been talks between Behrami and the club and I believe they will talk again at the end of the season.
"I want Behrami to stay. I like him very much. But we have postponed everything until the end of the season because the future depends on what the club is doing next season.
"The future depends on the present. I think it is totally correct to do that.
"With the owners, the strategy is that we just want to make sure the club is fine for next year, we are safe and we are in a better position. Once all this is sorted, then I can tell you something more. I will be very honest with you."
With the club struggling amid significant debts, the new co-owners could cash-in on highly-rated Switzerland international Behrami, but Upton Park supremo Sullivan claims all the players understand the situation and will not be sold unnecessarily.
He told The Telegraph: "Everyone is happy at the club and I have agreed with the manager and the players that nothing will be done until the end of the season.
"I will not stand in the way of anyone who is unhappy or who wants to leave.
"But I will try and find buyers for anyone who wants to go."