Clarke follows Zola and signs four-year deal at Upton Park

Steve Clarke, the West Ham United first-team coach, has joined his manager Gianfranco Zola in signing a new contract to stay at Upton Park until 2013.

Clarke, the former Chelsea assistant coach, left Stamford Bridge to join Zola at the Hammers when the Italian took over earlier this season and he has helped to guide the club to their current position of eighth in the Premier League. Zola extended his deal on Saturday and Clarke, 45, followed suit yesterday. "I am delighted, I have had a great time since I came here. We have done OK," Clarke said.

"There is a lot more still to be done and the contract reflects that. It is a long-term contract and what Gianfranco and myself and the rest of the coaching staff look forward to is improving things and working hard every year to make things better."

The Chelsea coach, Guus Hiddink, has been named by Franz Beckenbauer, the Bayern Munich president, as the man he would most like to see in charge of the club next season. The Bavarians are searching for a new coach after sacking Jürgen Klinsmann on Monday and appointing Jupp Heynckes until the end of the season.

"I hope we can get a coach who is somewhere in the class of Guus Hiddink," Beckenbauer said. Candidates are already emerging with the former Internazionale coach Roberto Mancini, former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and the out-of-work Frank Rijkaard and Bernd Schuster believed to be in the frame.

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