Zola keen on Ilunga deal

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West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is ready to offer Herita Ilunga a permanent deal at Upton Park, despite the left-back suggesting he is using the club as a stepping stone.

Ilunga, on loan from French side Toulouse for the season, has insisted he is happy playing under Zola but also revealed ambitions to eventually play for a bigger club.

"I know Ilunga very well," Zola said. "He is totally committed to what he is doing here and his answers were taken in the wrong way."

He added: "He is happy to be here and is looking to sign a contract with the club. As far as I'm concerned he is a player I will try to sign."

While Ilunga is a possible arrival, Zola is likely to sell players when the transfer window opens.

The Italian feels a 24-man squad is too big, although he will not sell key men such as Dean Ashton or Matthew Upson.

"We will consider selling some of them but we are not going to sell the best players," he said.

"They (Ashton and Upson) are among the best players we have.

"This club wants to progress so we are not going to sell our best players. This is what I am told by the club and I trust the club 100%.

"Right now we don't need to bring anyone in. When everyone is back there will be many, so maybe some players will go away to play."

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Matthew Upson
Premier League
Dean Ashton
Gianfranco Zola

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