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Monday, January 26, 2009
Juventus quash talk over Hammers' striker Cole

Soccernet staff

Juventus have quashed speculation they are interested in signing West Ham forward Carlton Cole.

Juve had been linked with a bid for the in-form striker, but the club's sporting director Alessio Secco said: ''We are not interested in Carlton Cole. We are very happy with the players we have in the team and we will not make any moves in the January transfer market.''

Cole is under contract with the Hammers until June 2013 having joined two years ago after finding first-team chances hard to come by at Stamford Bridge.

Juventus, who are second in Serie A following a run of six wins in their last seven games, have recently seen veteran striker David Trezeguet return from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Last week West Ham chief executive, Scott Duxbury, said that he does not want to sell the club's best players - after the departure of Craig Bellamy to Man City - and is believed to have informed clubs that Cole is not for sale.

The Hammers rejected two bids from Sunderland for Cole last summer, including an offer of 5m, and since then he has signed a new five-year contract, while his form has improved dramatically under the manager Gianfranco Zola, a former team-mate when both were players at Chelsea.

Cole has scored five goals in his last six games and is being monitored by the England manager Fabio Capello, who was at Upton Park last Sunday when the 25-year-old was man-of-the-match in the victory over Fulham.

Capello is reportedly considering Cole as an understudy for Emile Heskey and has been impressed by recent performances.

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