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Zola takes firm stand over West Ham striker Cole's future

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is determined to keep hold of England striker Carlton Cole as speculation over his future at Upton Park continues. There is speculation Cole, who is the club's top scorer in the league this season with six goals, will leave the Londoners in the January transfer window, with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool linked with moves for the striker.

"This year we are scoring more than we did last year so I think we are improving there but we all know Carlton Cole is an important player for this team, not only for his goals but for his presence," the Italian said.

"We are very happy with him and we are going to help him keep scoring the way he is scoring.

"I know Carlton is happy here. I know the club have no intention of selling any of our important players.

"There is a lot of speculation and I know that a lot of messages coming out are not true. I don't want to pay attention to it.

"It's been 13 or 14 months that I've been in charge and it's never stopped."

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