Zola signs new Hammers contract

LONDON - West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola has pledged his long-term future to the east London club by signing a new contract until 2013. The 42-year-old Italian put pen to paper after Saturday's 1-0 Premier League home defeat by his former team Chelsea at Upton Park. "I'm delighted to have signed the contract," Zola told the club's official website. Zola, one of the greatest overseas players to grace the Premier League, originally signed a three-year deal in September after replacing Alan Curbishley. The ex-Italy striker had limited managerial experience when he was appointed but has steered the side to eighth place in the league. Zola, a former Italy under-21 assistant coach, said he expected his number two Steve Clarke, another former Chelsea player, to also sign a new deal with an announcement due next week. Chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "We hope we can achieve success this season but we're very much looking at the long-term with Gianfranco. It is a very bright future for West Ham." WEST HAM FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Mark Noble, Les Ferdinand One on One Les Ferdinand, Paolo di Canio, Gianfranco Zola My Secret Vice Nolberto Solano, Martin Allen Ask A Silly Question Sir Geoff Hurst What Happened Next? Julian Dicks Sing When You’re Winning Nick Frost Plus! Mark Noble on Weekend Wonders and West Ham on Talentspotter