Zola denies cost-cutting but will still sell players

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The Independent Football

The West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola admits he intends to sell players in January but insists he has received no ultimatum to cut costs from the club's owner. The Hammers are owned by Icelandic financier Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, whose personal fortune has been hard hit by the global credit crunch. It has been suggested Gudmundsson will try to sell the club after a series of financial setbacks relating to a number of companies in Iceland, including the Landsbanki bank and his main business, Samson Holdings.

But Zola insisted he had received no information his plans to move the Hammers up the table would be affected. "The situation hasn't changed even though it seems there is a story about this every day. I have been assured that the club hasn't got any problems," he said. "I am going to be working with my players and focusing on helping them to play as best as they can. We will have a big squad when we have everybody back from injury so I may need to sell some players because not everyone will get a game but I don't have concerns. My job is to work with this team and improve it. For this year everything I need is in this squad."

Zola also called for the transfer window to double as a winter break as the Italian is convinced Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was correct when he claimed the top English teams had too many fixtures. He said: "It is one of the issues that everybody should be looking at. We have had a lot of injuries and they happen when the body is stressed from extra work. In this country the top teams play too many games. Then you get injuries. I agree with Wenger, they are playing at a high level in the league and also have to compete in the Champions League."