Filed: Thursday, 2nd March 2017
By: Staff Writer
Slaven Bilic says he is determined to keep Andy Carroll - 24 hours after it was claimed that West Ham tried to offload him to China.
Bilic, speaking to the media this morning ahead of next Monday's Premier League clash with Chelsea denied reports that the club had been seeking to offload the injury-prone forward.
And he rejected a Times report that claimed he club had given Sam Allardyce's controversial agent friend, Mark Curtis, exclusive permission to broker a deal for the 28-year-old in China.
"Andy knows how much we and I rate him," said Bilic. "He is one of our best players and we want to keep him. As far as I know, the Chinese clubs sent representatives to watch our game. Apparently they were watching other players but fell in love with Andy.
"Itís certainly not the club that has asked an agent to try and sell him. Thatís not the case. I suppose Andy would have been flattered as itís nice that people have a good opinion of you, but me and him didnít talk about it at all.
"We havenít been bombed with offers from China, so it hasnít affected me or Andy.
"It wasnít like we had three or four offers for our players from China. I heard the rumours and saw it in the papers but it didnít affect any relationships with the players or with Andy, so thatís it basically. There is nothing to talk about there."
In the letter, which the Times claimed to have seen, club secretary Andrew Pincher is said to have written to Curtis giving him permission to sell Carroll on United's behalf.
ďFollowing your meeting with David Sullivan, I write to confirm you have the exclusive authority of the board of directors to represent West Ham in discussions with football clubs in China," it read, "in order to explore interest and options for the potential sale and permanent transfer of the registration of Andy Carroll during their first and current transfer window.
"This exclusive authority shall expire on March 1, 2017."
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