Franco to be released by West Ham

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The Independent Football

Guillermo Franco is to be released by West Ham after helping the club to escape relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship.

Franco, currently preparing for the World Cup with Mexico, admits he is already looking for a new club.

The Argentine-born player joined West Ham on a one-year contract after being released by Spanish side Villarreal, but will leave the Boleyn Ground when his deal expires at the end of June.

"I don't know where I'll be next season," said Franco. "West Ham told me 'bye bye' so I won't be with West Ham next season.

"Now my focus is on the international team and the World Cup and then I'll think about next season.

"Of course I enjoyed my time at West Ham. The supporters and the people were fantastic. I very much enjoyed my year in West Ham, but now it's finished and this is football."

Franco, 33, made 23 appearances and scored five goals during his stay with the Hammers.

The striker scored Mexico's goal in Monday's 3-1 friendly defeat to England at Wembley but collected a toe injury during the game. However, he expects to be fit for the tournament.

Meanwhile, West Ham have agreed a new one-year contract with defender Jordan Spence.

The promising defender made his first-team debut for the Hammers in the 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Manchester City on the season's final day.

Spence said: "I am pleased to get it sorted and to know that I'll be at the football club next season, so I'll be able to crack on and make progress.

"To be honest, I never thought I would be leaving. I've got faith in God and I know that as long as I continue to work to my best, then He will take care of the rest and where I'm supposed to be, I'll be.

"What I'm particularly pleased about is that that place is going to be here."

Spence was loaned to Championship side Scunthorpe during the early part of the season but returned to push his way into the first-team picture.

Now, following Gianfranco Zola's departure as manager, Spence is looking to impress again when the new boss, thought to be Avram Grant, is finally announced.

He said: "Being out on loan was always going to be a learning experience and something I wanted to do in order to help me to push on and help me do better when I came back.

"When Alan Curbishley was here, I got sniffs of the first-team set-up, but then there was a change of manager. It's a cliche to say everyone starts with a blank sheet, but I'll obviously be looking to impress whoever comes in and to kick on."