Progress made on Ashton talks

West Ham United are aiming to conclude a new long-term contract for Dean Ashton next week after another "very positive" meeting with his representatives.

The 24-year-old striker has two years left to run on his existing deal at the Boleyn Ground. Ashton is on international duty with England until Sunday, and could win his first cap against the United States at Wembley tonight, but talks continued on his behalf on Tuesday. West Ham United Chief Executive Scott Duxbury said: "The talks so far have been very positive. We are meeting with Dean and his representatives in the early part of next week with the aim of concluding a new long-term contract." The latest meeting followed initial discussions on Friday 16 May after the end of the 2007/08 season.