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Hammers fight to keep Cole

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has vowed to keep star striker Carlton Cole at Upton Park and declared the frontman is happy with the Premier League strugglers.

Cole has been inspirational for Zola’s struggling side this season scoring six Premier League goals and his efforts have caught the eye of England boss Fabio Capello.

The 26-year-old has featured for the Three Lions in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals and press reports have suggested Cole would jump at a chance to move to one of the Premier League’s big guns to secure his place at next summer’s finals in South Africa.

Both Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked with moves for the former Chelsea striker, but Zola is keen to keep his prize asset.

“This year we are scoring more than we did last year so I think we are improving there but we all know Carlton Cole is an important player for this team, not only for his goals but for his presence,” said Zola.

“We are very happy with him and we are going to help him keep scoring the way he is scoring.

“I know Carlton is happy here. I know the club have no intention of selling any of our important players.

“There is a lot of speculation and I know that a lot of messages coming out are not true. I don’t want to pay attention to it.

“It’s been 13 or 14 months that I’ve been in charge and it’s never stopped.”

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could move for Cole after finally giving up on Dimitar Berbatov, who has failed to hit it off at Old Trafford.

Rafa Benitez is also in desperate need of another forward due to the groin injury picked up by Fernando Torres and Cole could be targeted in the January transfer window.

Mon 23 November, 2009
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