Faubert in the dark over Hammers future
West Ham misfit Julien Faubert admits that he has no idea whether he still has a future at Upton Park despite returning to the club for pre-season training
By JONATHAN CLEGG
West Ham misfit Julien Faubert admits that he has no idea whether he still has a future at Upton Park despite returning to the club for pre-season training.
Former France international Faubert has struggled to make an impact since joining the Hammers in a �6.1m move from Bordeaux in August 2007 and was expected to leave the club this summer.
The 25-year-old was shipped out to Real Madrid on loan in January but was unable to secure a permanent switch to the Bernabeu and he is now back at Upton Park.
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Yet despite starting both of West Ham's friendly matches, Faubert admits he is unsure whether he will still be at the club for the new Premier League season.
He said: "Maybe I will stay, maybe I won't.
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"I will try to do my best and we'll see what happens."
Faubert has previously revealed his desire to quit West Ham after complaining that the club's top brass had no faith in him.
Yet the versatile defender now insists he is willing to remain with the Hammers and challenge for a first-team berth.
"I'm happy to be back at West Ham. Madrid was a good experience, a big club and the training was very good like it is here," Faubert said.
"But I am happy to come back to West Ham.
Faubert's future at West Ham could hinge on developments with Lucas Neill, who was this week reported to be closing on a deal with Turkish giants Galatasaray following a breakdown in talks with the Hammers.
Neill's departure would leave West Ham with a void at Faubert's preferred position of right-back.
And the former Bordeaux ace is eager to grasp his opportunity during pre-season in a bid to earn back his place in the starting line-up ahead of the new campaign.
"I am a little bit tired but I am ready to play," Faubert said.
"Pre-season is like this - we have to work and to push the level very high to get ready for the Premier League."
Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has previously indicated that Faubert could remain at Upton Park, despite speculation linking the player with a move to German outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
Yet Zola is adamant that both Faubert and Calum Davenport, who was loaned to Sunderland in January following reports of a dressing-room bust-up with the Italian, must prove that they deserve a second opportunity at the club.
"We will see, obviously," Zola said. "We are building on what we had last year, so if they can fit in our team, they're welcome."
Faubert has already made a positive impression on the Hammers boss after shedding more than half a stone during the summer in a bid to improve his physical condition.
He said: I worked during my holiday and lost some weight so I can run a lot.
"I went to an Italian fitness centre where I lost four and a half kilos. After I came back I felt good.