West Ham determined to keep Cole

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The Independent Football

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola insists that the club will not be forced to sell star striker Carlton Cole.

The England hit-man has been linked with a move away in the January transfer window, with Liverpool and Manchester United reportedly showing interest.

West Ham are in dire financial trouble leading to speculation that a big money move will be impossible to turn down.

Yet Zola told today's Sun newspaper: "Carlton is an important player for this team, not only because he scores goals but also for his presence.

"I know Carlton wants to stay and is happy here. The club has no intention of selling him or any of our important players."