SAM HOPING TO BE THE BEST
By David Allen
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rumours have been rife recently that Wimbledon would have to sell a number of their players, and that Sullivan, who has not yet signed a new contract, would be the first on his way out of Selhurst Park after expressing his desire to play for a major club.
Hamann said: "Most of our squad are not for sale. I`m building a squad to compete with the best. My one disappointment is having failed, so far, to get Neil Sullivan to sign a new contract."
Sullivan will play in goal for Scotland this weekend in the Euro 2000 play-off matches and has been praised by Hamann for his consistent performances, despite his first clean sheet of the season coming in the 2-0 victory over Leeds United at the weekend.
"He is in very good form, and that`s very bad news for England," added Hammam "I don`t begrudge him his desire but I haven`t given up hope of keeping him, even if it means going to the lengths of having to kiss his backside! Seriously, if I can convince Sully he can still go places with us then his undoubted love of the club might prevail."
Hammam admitted that he will need to sell "at least five" of his team in order to reduce the club wage bill, which has escalated since the arrival of Egil Olsen in the summer, and star striker John Hartson has also been rumoured to be set to leave, with Spurs thought to be interested in poaching him.
But Hammam added: "John Hartson, Jason Euell, Ben Thatcher, Kenny Cunningham and Carl Cort will not be leaving Wimbledon this season. We might consider offers for others."
And by "others" it is thought that he meant Neal Ardley, Stewart Castledine, Ceri Hughes and Brain McAllister, who have all struggled for a first team place this year and are thought to be unsettled.
But Hammam said that the sales would be forced after admitting that the club is currently losing £2 million in normal trading.