Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Zola furious over West Ham transfer dealings

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has hit out at joint-owners David Sullivan and David Gold for undermining his position after he discovered about the club's transfer dealings in the newspapers.

Zola will not confirm his plans for the summer until the end of the season - but his relationship with the West Ham ownership appears to have passed the point of no return.

The Italian was stunned to learn that West Ham had lodged a £4million bid for the West Brom and Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans - a player he had never even spoken about.

And Zola was equally surprised when Sullivan revealed in an interview that every member of the Hammers squad had been put up for sale, bar Scott Parker.

"I just found out in the newspapers. It was quite a surprise," he said.

"I know he (Dorrans) is a good player and had a very good season but I didn't know the club was interested in him.

"He is a good player but I am not prepared to say at the moment whether he would be in my interests for next year.

"If I was Mark Noble or Robert Green or Valon Behrami I wouldn't be very pleased to hear that (I had been put up for sale). I didn't know.

"It is not pleasant. You don't like it but this is the way it goes.

"I have been surprised so many times this year - so I am not surprised that I am surprised."

Gold and Sullivan rescued West Ham from administration when they took over in January but their relationship with Zola has not always been healthy.

Zola clashed with Sullivan after he publicly accused the team of being "pathetic" and "shambolic" following their defeat to Wolves.

After West Ham secured their Barclays Premier League survival with a 3-2 victory over Wigan last weekend, Gold said he would like to see Zola continue as manager.

The pair have a cordial relationship, though seemingly not good enough for Zola to be told that Gold was bidding for a new midfielder.

Asked whether he or any manager could be expected to succeed in those circumstances, Zola said: "At the end of the season when I talk to them they will let me know what their regime will be.

"David Gold has always been supportive and he has stayed close to us. It is good. He is always here before the matches and that is something I appreciate."

Asked if Gold had spoken to him about the future, Zola added: "No, we spoke about other things.

"Regarding my future, it is something that will have to be discussed at the end of the season when I will have a meeting with the owners."

Despite all the upheaval - the sale of players, the sale of the club and the loss of Dean Ashton to retirement - Zola guided West Ham to Premier League safety with two games remaining.

He also seems to have the firm backing of his players and Parker deliberately ran to hug Zola after scoring the winner against Wigan last weekend.

"That togetherness was one of the reasons I was always convinced we were going to stay up," Zola added.

"Despite everything, the players and managerial staff and supporters stayed close and we have fought very hard.

"The team has been through so many difficult situations and achieved their task. We have fought against the difficulties that were around us.

"We know we didn't do brilliantly. Everyone was expecting us to do more but when you consider the situation I will look at my players and say 'Well done'.

"It wasn't easy. There were a lot of things that weren't working very well but we stuck together."

West Ham play Europa League finalists Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday.