Chelsea are ready to battle West Ham over want-away coach Steve Clarke.

The Mirror says it is understood that Clarke, who has been at Chelsea for over 20 years as player and coach, wants to team up with his former Stamford Bridge team-mate and now new West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola.

Chelsea, it would appear, have other ideas. A statement released by the club said:

"Chelsea can confirm that West Ham have made an approach with regards to talking to Steve Clarke.

"They have not been given permission to talk to him.

"Steve Clarke has tendered his resignation as assistant first team coach. We have not accepted his resignation. Talks are continuing."