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Zola jets into London to ink West Ham deal

Gianfranco Zola is expected to sign terms with West Ham United tonight.

The Times says Zola reached an agreement in principal last night to become the West Ham United manager and is likely to arrive in London this evening to complete the formalities of his contract. The former Chelsea forward, who is expected to be presented to the media tomorrow, will become the twelfth full-time manager in the club's history and the first foreigner to take charge at Upton Park, succeeding Alan Curbishley, who resigned last week.

Assuming that things run smoothly, Zola, 42, is expected to be in the stands at The Hawthorns on Saturday for West Ham's Barclays Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion - Kevin Keen, the reserve-team coach, will be in charge on the side-lines - and take control of the team at home to Newcastle United a week later.

The Chelsea legend admits he has concerns of a backlash from West Ham fans.

"I'm a bit concerned that there is a movement among some fans that is hostile about my appointment," Zola said last night. "I hope that by coming to London that can be clarified. West Ham is one of those opportunities that does not come around often."

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