Gold in no rush to tie down Upson

Avram Grant revealed last month that the Upson had been offered an

extension to his current deal, which is due to expire at the end of

the season. However, the 31-year-old is unlikely to put pen to

paper on his new deal until West Ham’s Premier League status is

secure. Losing Upson would be a big blow to the Londoners, who have

built their defence around the centre-half since he arrived from

Birmingham in a £6million deal in January 2007. But Gold is

not worried about the England defender’s future. “I don’t think

there is any rush for Matthew to sign his new deal,” he said. “He

is now into the last year of his contract and doing it now or at

the end of the season doesn’t really matter to either side.

“Matthew is always welcome to come to me and talk about it. “The

fact that we’re bottom of the league makes it a bit difficult but

it’s no rush for neither him nor us.” Despite clearing some of the

debts inherited from their Icelandic predecessors, Gold and fellow

co-owner David Sullivan have still only been able to offer Grant

limited transfer funds since the Israeli’s appointment. Selling a

prized asset such as Upson could raise the Upton Park club up to

£2million but Gold has hinted he will not cash in on the

player even if he indicated he wanted to leave at the end of the

current campaign on a free. “Our stance is that we do not sell our

best players,” Gold added. “That’s what we said when we joined the

football club. “For the last 40 years West Ham have been famous for

selling their best players. You only have to look at the last

England squad – a third of that squad has come through West Ham –

Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson… All these players

have come from West Ham. Imagine, if they were still here, what a

great side we would be. “We are trying desperately to reverse that

policy. Can we achieve it 100%? Of course not, but what we can do

is do our most to change that philosophy. “We don’t want to sell

our players. We want to build a team that is a force to be reckoned

with.”