Upson exit ruled out

PUBLISHED: 12:23 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:50 05 October 2010

GIANFRANCO ZOLA has issued a hands-off warning to West Ham's Premier League rivals by insisting that Matthew Upson is not for sale, despite reports linking the defender with a January exit

GIANFRANCO ZOLA has issued a hands-off warning to West Ham's Premier League rivals by insisting that Matthew Upson is not for sale, despite reports linking the defender with a January exit.

The Hammers are expected to offload players in the new year as the club faces up to a potential £30m bill over the Carlos Tevez affair.

West Ham owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has also been rocked by the credit crisis, suffering a series of financial setbacks that are estimated to have wiped out more than £200m of his personal fortune.

But Zola is adamant that the club will not cash in on star

centre-half Upson, who started and scored for England in last week's international friendly win over Germany.

The 29-year-old has attracted interest from a number of top clubs, including London rivals Arsenal and Spurs, but Hammers boss Zola is determined to keep the defender at Upton Park.

He said: "Matthew's a wonderful professional and playing for England has been a big boost for him, but as far as I am concerned he is not for sale.

"I don't have to sell any of my best players. I have been promised that. The club intends to keep its best players and to sign good players who we think have a future at the club.

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