David Gold: ‘West Ham star is not for sale’

Hammers co-owner David Gold is determined to hang on to the club’s best players

West Ham co-chairman David Gold has insisted that star defender James Tomkins is not for sale despite a bid from Newcastle United and interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

The form of the 22-year-old centre half has been outstanding over the festive period, but Gold looked to reassure nervous fans.

“Let me say that as far as James Tomkins is concerned, he is a West Ham player through and through. He has come through the Academy, he is loved by the fans, he has fought his way up, even since we have been here, and he has now come to the forefront and is a quality player,” said Gold.

“We want to keep James Tomkins, we really do want to keep him. I think it is fair to say he is not for sale.”

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That statement will be heartening to the fans who have also heard rumours that leading scorer Carlton Cole could move in January.

“We don’t want to lose any of our players,” insisted the co-owner.

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“It is very difficult for a chairman of a football club to turn round and say this is definitely not going to happen.

“No supporter wants to lose any of its good players and we want to keep our best players because our focus is 100 per cent on promotion and you don’t gain promotion if you start selling.

“So I can promise you that we will do everything we can to keep our best players.

“I would say that for instance, I could say I want �20million for my house, but it is not for sale at �20million because nobody is going to pay that sort of money.

“But we all know that if for some reason, somebody wanted my house because he knew that there was an oil well underneath it. I am going to sell it at �20million unless I know that as well.

“What can I say? If they offer me �20million for my house it is for sale.

“I suppose the bottom line is we know that Fernando Torres wasn’t for sale until Roman Abramovich came in and offered �50million for him.”

We are unlikely to see any �50million bids for West Ham’s players and so it would seem likely that Tomkins and Cole will stay, at least until the end of the season.

But Gold prefers to concentrate on purchases rather than sales.

“If we can, we are looking to strengthen the squad,” he said. “But what I keep telling everybody, the minute you announce you are looking for anybody, it makes it difficult to negotiate.

“Sufficient to say that David Sullivan, Sam and myself are all looking to strengthen the squad, but we have to be patient.

“All new acquisitions will have to be paid for by David Sullivan and myself.

“It is not our intention to burden the club with further debt. It is important that we reduce debt or hold it to its current level.”

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