Avram Grant insists Scott Parker is a big part of his plans for West Ham
• 'We want to improve and Scott Parker is a big part of this'
• Grant backs Robert Green to get over disastrous World Cup
The West Ham manager, Avram Grant, has insisted that the sought-after midfielder Scott Parker will remain his Hammers' heartbeat, while also backing the England internationals Robert Green and Matthew Upson to overcome their disappointing World Cups.
Tottenham yesterday had a bid for Parker – reportedly valued at £7m – swept angrily off the table by the West Ham chairman, David Sullivan. And Grant said: "We want to plan to improve for the next few seasons and Scott Parker is a big part of this process. He is a very good player and has a good influence on the young players. I'm sure if he was for sale that other teams would want him as well. But we are a team with ambition and we want to progress."
Parker played alongside Green and Upson in West Ham's 2-0 pre-season victory over MK Dons last night, secured with goals from Julien Faubert and Carlton Cole.
Green was dropped by England after his mistake gifted the United States a draw in the opening group match while Upson played in the 4-1 second-round defeat to Germany. "Robert is a good goalkeeper. He is doing his job and he is training well," Grant said. "Also, Matthew Upson played his first 45 minutes as well. It was good for them and for us.
"They are not children. They know disappointment is part of the game and they need to recover very quickly because they are playing for the team. What has happened has happened and we are looking forward. I have no worries at all, it was business as usual and they know that."
Parker was the only player declared not for sale by Sullivan this summer, with Green, Upson and Cole all linked with moves away from Upton Park. But the West Ham vice-chairman, Karren Brady, stressed the club had turned down bids for players and the focus is on improving, not dismantling, the squad.
West Ham have been chasing the defender Tal Ben Haim and Nice striker Loïc Rémy. Grant told the club's website: "We are looking for players. There are good players in this team but we want to make the squad stronger and we are looking for two or three players that can improve the team. I am happy with what we have but I am always looking for a way of improving and making things better."
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