Zola’s future decided on Tuesday
The mood at West Ham has been so fractious, since the takeover in January, that it appears inconceivable that Zola will stay in charge. It is thought that only the manner of his departure from his post needs to be decided.
The Italian signed a three-year deal in May 2009 and is paid around £1.9 million a year. It is understood the terms of his contract stipulate he is entitled to a pay-off of one year’s salary should he be sacked, which will be an amount that Sullivan will not want to meet.
On Friday Sullivan refused to discuss the meeting which has been rescheduled from Monday, the day after West Ham’s final league match, at home to Manchester City.
Portsmouth manager Avram Grant is lobbying hard to take the job, should Zola leave, and it may be indicative of West Ham’s intentions that they are considering moves for players such as Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jamie O’Hara, who have spent this season at Fratton Park.
There is still a hope at West Ham that Zola – who enjoys the full support of the players – may stay but that would only happen if he is given a series of guarantees from Sullivan, which appears unlikely.
On Friday Zola would not be drawn on his future although he has been furious with Sullivan over a series of public statements, such as putting the entire squad, bar Scott Parker, up for sale and bidding for players without the manager being informed.
“I need to focus on the [City] game and then I will talk to the club and we will see what the outcome is going to be. We are going to meet some time next week,” Zola said.
Meanwhile, midfielder Jack Collison is set to be out of action until the new year after undergoing knee surgery.
The 21 year-old never fully recovered from the cartilage damage he suffered last season and he has not played since Wales’s 1-0 defeat to Sweden on March 3.