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By ESPN Staff

Ashton ready to start contract talks

West Ham striker Dean Ashton will meet club officials at the end of the week to start discussions over terms for a new contract at Upton Park.

The 24-year-old has two years left on his current deal and is thought to be on the radar of Manchester Untied, Portsmouth and Newcastle.

Hammers chief executive Scott Duxbury said: ``The end of the season was the appropriate time to discuss such matters and to meet Dean Ashton and his representatives.

``We will sit down on Friday with a view to agreeing a new long-term contract to keep Dean Ashton at Upton Park.''

Ashton, who was called into the England squad at the weekend, was signed from Norwich two years ago and is not among the club's high earners.

He missed last season after breaking an ankle on international duty when he was poised to earn a first cap. After battling his way back to fitness and form he could make his debut in the end-of-season friendlies against the USA or Trinidad & Tobago.

Despite a limited number of appearances this season he scored 11 goals, including three in his last three matches.