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Solano out as Irons axe five

PUBLISHED: 15:54 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 05 October 2010

Nolberto Solano was officially released by West Ham this week as the club began a series of summer cutbacks by slashing five players from the wage bill.

By JONATHAN CLEGG

NOLBERTO Solano was officially released by West Ham this week as the club began a series of summer cutbacks by slashing five players from the wage bill.

Solano, 33, was the most high-profile casualty as the Hammers also ditched four academy prospects, including Ireland youth international Lorcan Fitzgerald.

Youth team midfielder Lee Hales, full-back Robbie Blackwell and striker Ben Hunt were also axed by the club.

The five departures represent the first wave of a series of cuts this summer as Hammers chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson seeks to balance the books at Upton Park.

Gudmundsson believes that the club's pay structure had spiralled out of control under former chairman Eggert Magnusson and the Icelandic billionaire has decided to dump the squad's fringe players in an effort to reduce the monthly outgoings.

Solano became the first casualty of the new cost-cutting measures when the Hammers confirmed that he was free to leave the club, as revealed in the Advertiser earlier this month.

The Peru international arrived at West Ham on a free transfer in August, making 23 appearances for the club and scoring four times, including a trademark free-kick against Aston Villa on the final day of the season.

Despite rarely lasting the full 90 minutes, Solano's quality made him a valuable contributor for Alan Curbishley's side and the veteran midfielder had expressed his desire to sign a 12-month extension to remain at the club.

Solano also rejected a lucrative offer to move to Major League Soccer in March because he still hoped to secure a new deal at Upton Park.

But the 33-year-old was left dejected last Thursday when he learned of his official release.

"When the manager said that he was allowing me to go I was shocked and disappointed," Solano said.

"I think the reason he has let me go is that he has plenty of other players at Upton Park who can play on the right, like Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer.

"Now I am looking for another club. I hope to stay in England for another two years, and after that I will return to Peru."

Solano will not be the last big-name player to receive his walking papers at Upton Park this summer as rumours continue to link Freddie Ljungberg with a switch to Roma.

Speculation suggests squad players Bobby Zamora, Carlton Cole and Luis Boa Morte will also be offloaded in the coming weeks.


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