Ashton wants talks over West Ham future

May 12, 2008

Dean Ashton hopes to stay at West Ham but has revealed he is growing concerned over his future due to the lack of dialogue from the club.

Manchester United are rumoured to be ready to test the Hammers' resolve to keep Ashton by tabling an £8million bid for the England prospect this summer.

Portsmouth and Newcastle are also reported to be interested in the 24-year-old, who returned this season after a year out spent recovering from a broken ankle.

Hammers boss Alan Curbishley is meeting with the board today to review the season and discuss plans for the transfer window.

Curbishley is determined to keep Ashton and after yesterday's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa denied that he is under pressure to slash the wage bill.

But a big offer could tempt the board to sell and Ashton is seeking reassurances over his future with two years left on his contract.

'As far as I know I'll be at West Ham. The only worry is that the club haven't spoken to me yet so I don't know where I stand,' he said. 'Obviously I'd like to speak to the club about my future. I'd just like to know where my future lies.

'Obviously I had to prove myself after spending so long out injured and I feel I've done that now.

'West Ham is the team I play for. I want to talk to the club because I've really enjoyed myself here and that's all I'm really thinking about.'

Ashton was complimented by Sir Alex Ferguson after scoring in the 4-1 rout at Old Trafford on May 3, but has taken little notice of his words.

'A lot has been written about me but the thing I'm most worried about is what West Ham think of me,' he said.

'I suppose it (Ferguson's praise) is flattering but you don't really read a lot into what goes into the papers.'

West Ham spent £20million last summer on new signings Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer and Julien Faubert yet the trio made just 15 starts between them because of injury.

Freddie Ljungberg also spent lengthy spells in the treatment room, robbing Curbishley of yet another attacking player.

But the Hammers still managed to finish 10th in the Premier League - a respectable conclusion to a testing season according to Ashton.

'There's a few players who've been injured and not played as many games as they wanted to,' he said. 'Although we'd have liked to have done a lot better, a couple of us are pleased with the way we've ended the season.

'If you put everything into consideration, the table doesn't look too bad. If we'd had everyone fit it would have been a different story but that's the way it goes and we did the best we could.'

Ashton enjoyed a strong finish to the season, his perfectly executed equaliser against Villa lifting his recent run to five goals in eight games.

The former Norwich marksman finished the season with 11 goals and is pleased with the return after battling back from the serious ankle injury he sustained during England training in August 2006.

'It was nice to end the season like I have done after the year that I've had, which has been in-and-out really. I'm really pleased,' he added.