Paul: No Decisions Yet

MD Paul Aldridge insists that the club are not pushing Paolo Di Canio out of the door at Upton Park, but that no decisions on contracts are being taken until the end of the season.

Paul is keen to clarify that, although permission was granted for Paolo to talk to a Scottish club last week, it is important to understand the context in which that 'permission' was given.

"We cannot refuse, since the turn of the year, clubs in foreign jurisdiction who want to talk to players that are out of contract in the summer," he says.

"It is FIFA rules that clubs who wish to talk to those players whose contract will expire at the end of the season merely have to inform the club holding the player's registration that they wish to do so - whether you like it or not.

"We have not had a formal request since then, though, and I would stress we have always enjoyed a good relationship with Paolo's agent.

"To this end, the door has always been open about discussing an extension to his contract, but we have to know what our position is next season before we can do that, and I would think most people understand just why that is."

Any club from a football association outside of England can inform the club whose player they intend to talk to simultaneously with discussions opening with the player concerned, and, technically at least, the club who holds the player's contract may not know how those talks are progressing as there is no obligation on the part of the other club to tell them.

If an English club had wanted to talk to any Hammers players out of contract this summer, they would have to seek permission, and Paul explains:

"The case of Premier League clubs in the same circumstance is different, because they would have to seek prior approval.

"In the meantime, we are focusing on the remaining games of the campaign, and that obviously takes precedence over everything else."