Md Confirms Meeting

MD Paul Aldridge has confirmed that there will be a meeting with Frank Lampard junior to discuss his concerns.

Frank has not commented publicly about his thoughts on the departure of his uncle and father from the club, and, while speculation may indicate that he wants a move, Paul is keen to hear his thoughts first hand.

Clearly, like all players, Frank wants to know about his future and Paul says: "I am happy to sit down with Frank and his advisers to discuss the way forward - as I indicated last week.

"Frank has been in Manchester receiving treatment but now he is back we will be looking for a meeting. I'm sure he will want to know if the club has ambitions on the field to match the rebuilding off it and I hope to be able to be able to reassure him on that point.

"Of course he will have personal feelings about his father leaving, and that is only natural. But the parting was amicable and we see Frank as being able to move on from that in the best interests of West Ham United."

Observers have noted that Ruud Gullit's odds have shortened from 25-1 to 5-2 but while William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe admits that "from midday to just after 1pm we took a series of over a dozen bets from unknown and new punters all wanting to back the Dutchman at whatever odds they could get," he also says: "It may just be someone trying to hype up Gullit's profile."

Paul insists: "We won't be conducting any polls in the press and we won't be talking publicly about individuals - that would not be fair on anyone.

"But we have a strategy on the way forward, and we intend to pursue that without being sidetracked by speculation."

Charlton full back Chris Powell, meanwhile, has broken the Addicks' silence on the matter of Alan Curbishley, saying on BBC 5Live:

"West Ham are in his blood big time, and that's the one thing that does frighten me and, I'm sure, all Charlton supporters.

"He has made a statement and said he doesn't want to go, that there is a lot of unfinished work at The Valley.

"But I really don't know what's going to happen; I hope he stays, but you see what happened with Glenn Hoddle this season.

"I hope he does what he says he's going to, and that if West Ham do want him, Charlton say no and that is the end of the matter.

"People look at the season we've had, see we are above West Ham and think we must be a bigger club, but it doesn't work like that."