Football

Zola puts brakes on transfer talk

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West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has called for focus ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round trip to Hartlepool as speculation persists over which players will be heading in or out of Upton Park.

The Barclays Premier League club have already seen unsettled striker Craig Bellamy make a high-profile move to Manchester City. Just what Zola will do with the reported £14million brought in by the deal has caused much debate.

"I do not like talking about players from other teams. I want to focus on the players I have got now," said the West Ham boss.

Brescia's Savio Nsereko and Panathinaikos' South Africa defender Bryce Moon have all been linked with the Irons.

So too have Cardiff winger Joe Ledley and Crystal Palace midfielder Ben Watson, who Middlesbrough are also keen to sign. Fiorentina's Pablo Daniel Osvaldo was also said to be interesting West Ham until he joined Bologna.

French winger Julien Faubert has expressed a desire to find regular first-team football elsewhere and Luis Boa Morte's move to Hull broke down over personal terms. But Zola maintains his priority must be to get the best out of his current squad in what is a potentially tricky encounter at Victoria Park on Saturday.

He said: "Now, for example, what [David] Di Michele did the other day was fantastic so he deserves my trust and be allowed to continue."

Zola added: "It is still a long season and obviously we want to build up something that can last for as long as possible, so we might consider strengthening the team and if (we need) to replace Bellamy.

"As far as I am concerned people are happy to stay, but if someone wants to go and play we will consider it.

"However, right now it is important that we keep the focus on the game we have on Saturday."

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Topics:
Julien Faubert
Football
Manchester City
Ben Watson
Luis Boa Morte
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Cardiff City
Joe Ledley
Gianfranco Zola
Crystal Palace
West Ham United
Middlesbrough
Hull City
FA Cup
Ben Watson
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