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By ESPN Staff

Harewood pens improved contract with the Hammers

Marlon Harewood has been rewarded for finishing as West Ham's leading scorer last season by signing an improved contract.

Harewood netted 16 times as the Hammers finished ninth in the Premiership and reached the FA Cup final to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

He signed a five-year deal last September - but today put pen to paper on an improved contract which still expires in 2010.

West Ham are the subject of a potential takeover bid and recently signed Argentina international Carlos Tevez, swelling their pool of strikers to six.

Hours before they face Palermo in the first round of the UEFA Cup, Harewood said: 'The future is looking good here and I want to be part of it.

'This is a great club with a great bunch of lads and a great team spirit that I want to remain involved in.

'I am enjoying playing football for West Ham and this is where I want to stay. I have had three good seasons at the club and I hope to have many more to come.'

Harewood has been joined in signing a new deal by goalkeeper Jimmy Walker, who has agreed a one-year contract extension through to the summer of 2008.

Walker is effectively third-choice keeper behind Roy Carroll and Robert Green but is determined to play his part for the club.

'I am made up to get it all sorted,' he said.

'I appreciate it will be difficult in terms of first-team places with two other top quality keepers here but I will just keep doing my best and hopefully we can all help West Ham have another good season.

'There was a lot of speculation in the press over the summer about me leaving but I always wanted to stay here and I am glad the club have showed faith in me.

'The fans have always been good to me and given me a good reception and they are one of the big reasons I want to stay at West Ham.'

Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun revealed on Tuesday he has agreed terms on a new five-year deal.