Football

Hammers in no rush over Upson

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West Ham co-owner David Gold is not panicking about the prospect of losing Matthew Upson on a free transfer and would be happy to wait until the end of the season for the England defender to commit his future to the club.

Last month Hammers boss Avram Grant revealed the club had offered Upson an extension to his current deal, which is due to expire at the end of the season, but it is unlikely he will put pen to paper on his new deal until West Ham's Barclays Premier League status looks more secure given that he will need to be playing top-flight football to make England's Euro 2012 squad.

But Gold insists he is not worried about his star defender's future and said: "I don't think there is any rush for Matthew to sign his new deal. He is now into the last year of his contract and doing it now or at the end of the season doesn't really matter to either side."

He added: "Matthew is always welcome to come to me and talk about it. The fact that we're bottom of the league makes it a bit difficult but it's no rush for neither him nor us."

Despite clearing some of the debts inherited from their Icelandic predecessors, Gold and fellow co-owner David Sullivan have still only been able to offer Grant limited transfer funds since the Israeli's appointment.

Selling a prized asset such as Upson could raise the Upton Park club up to £2million but Gold hinted that he would not cash in on the player even if he indicated he wanted to leave at the end of the current campaign on a free.

"Our stance is that we do not sell our best players," Gold continued. "That's what we said when we joined the football club.

"For the last 40 years West Ham have been famous for selling their best players. You only have to look at the last England squad - a third of that squad has come through West Ham - Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson... all these players have come from West Ham.

"Imagine, if they were still here, what a great side we would be.

"We are trying desperately to reverse that policy. Can we achieve it 100%? Of course not, but what we can do is do our most to change that philosophy.

"We don't want to sell our players. We want to build a team that is a force to be reckoned with."

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Topics:
Matthew Upson
Football
Premier League
West Ham United
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