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Manchester City
By ESPN Staff

Zola insists he'll sell by choice and not necessity

West Ham 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 Barclays Premier League 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 every one 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 Arsene 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 and you don't perform as well as you could. I agree with Wenger, they are playing at a high level in the league and also have to compete in the Champions League.

"I did that with Chelsea and it is very demanding physically. There should be a mid-season break. Everywhere else they have it so they should have it in this country as well.

"I am talking especially about those who are involved in Europe, for us it is not such a problem although we also have to play in the cups, which makes it a lot of games.

"The rotation system is not perfect because then you get a big squad that has players who don't play much. That is no the perfect situation. Even if you have a big squad the important players are the same, you can change one or two but not all of them.

"At the end of the day there are still too many games so don't be surprised if you get too many injuries. You need to play games obviously but a player also needs to train and it is a problem if you are always playing.''


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