West Ham boss Zola confident he won't have to sell his top stars this month

04 January 2010 12:52

Fingers crossed: Gianfranco Zola hopes he doesn't have to sell players this month

Gianfranco Zola is confident West Ham will have no need to sell key men duringthe transfer window to balance the books at Upton Park.

The Hammers are battling to stay in the Barclays Premier League, but started2010 with a 2-1 home defeat as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal.

Tony Fernandes, team principal of the new Lotus F1 Racing outfit, has indicatedhe is ready to launch a formal bid for the Hammers, declaring on his personalTwitter page: 'Soon they will have an owner who will make a difference andcare'.

The Malaysian entrepreneur, a self-confessed Irons fan, is the latest name tobe linked with a takeover, as David Gold, who recently sold his stake inBirmingham, and the London-based Intermarket Group are also planning to make aformal offer.

Current owners CB Holdings - a company arm of Icelandic investment bankStraumur - are in no need or rush to sell, but would listen to serious bids,with a reported value of around £100million.

Zola, though, believes there should be no reason why the likes of England trioRobert Green, Matthew Upson and striker Carlton Cole should be cashed in on thismonth.

'Bringing somebody in would be nice, but I hope that the team at least remainsthe same, that is the most important thing, because when we have everybody back,it is going to be a different story,' said Zola.

'Everybody knows the financial situation. I think we have stability and do not have big problems. I am not expecting to have anybody leaving.

'If it will change, I do not know, but I am hoping not.' 

Up for sale? Upson (left), Green (centre) and Parker

West Ham had several players unavailable for yesterday's match, including Coleand midfielder Scott Parker.Zola handed full debuts to Frank Nouble, the England Under-19 striker, andSwitzerland Under-19 left-back Fabio Daprela.

The Irons snatched the lead in first-half stoppage time when AlessandroDiamanti beat the offside trap to slot past reserve keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

However, after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had sent on Abou Diaby and SamirNasri just after the hour, the visitors got themselves back in the tie throughthe outstanding Aaron Ramsey before Eduardo's looping header completed theturnaround with seven minutes left.

West Ham are currently out of the bottom three only on goal difference, andhave played two more matches than 18th-placed Bolton.However, Zola maintains his relegation battlers will be stronger in 2010.

'I take a lot of positives because I have a team who are giving 100 per cent,' hesaid.

'If we can maintain that, then, trust me, when we have everybody back thisteam will be tough to beat.'

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Source: Daily_Mail