Hammers to cash in on Upson?

WEST HAM may choose to cash in on centre half Matty Upson and buy a striker and a defender with the money they receive from Manchester City, writes DAVE EVANS. The decision on a move is up to the 30-year-old England defender, who is currently on internati

WEST HAM may choose to cash in on centre half Matty Upson and buy a striker and a defender with the money they receive from Manchester City, writes DAVE EVANS.

The decision on a move is up to the 30-year-old England defender, who is currently on international duty in Holland, but if he opts for Eastlands over Upton Park, West Ham are unlikely to stand in his way.

City boss Mark Hughes' valuation of �10million is around �4million short of the amount West Ham deem the player is worth, but a compromise fee of around �12million could be enough to do the deal.

Stories in the national press have suggested that West Ham will be forced to sell players to raise �10million before the transfer deadline, but both chief executive Scott Duxbury and non-executive chairman Andrew Bernhardt, were quick to deny the rumours.


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"The club's position today remains the same as it was last week or as it was in January. There is no question of Straumur forcing us to sell anyone - in fact we are actively looking for players," said Duxbury this week.

"The only way a player would be allowed to leave is if Gianfranco thinks it is in the best interests of the squad as a whole and it is right for the club, it's as simple as that."

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Bernhardt added: "We fully support Scott and Gianfranco and endorse their continued efforts in strengthening the squad as quickly as possible."

That doesn't bring Upson's desire to play European football into the equation. There have been no bids from Arsenal for the former Gunner, but if the player sees Manchester City as a better Euro bet, then he may decide to move.

The decision is by no means cut and dried though and Upson, who has two years left on his contract, may opt to stay and become the captain of West Ham this season.

If he does go, then Zola will be in the market for a new defender, with Newcastle United's Steven Taylor, Sylvain Distin of Portsmouth or even free agent Sol Campbell all possible targets.

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