Allardyce making pre-season plans
Sam Allardyce has refuted claims he has opened contract talks with West Ham's owners but insists he is preparing for next season as normal.
The 60-year-old's position as manager at Upton Park has come under increased scrutiny as he nears the end of the his current deal, with the likes of former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez and departing Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp linked to the job.
Allardyce has been at West Ham since he guided them back into the Premier League in the 2011/12 campaign and has easily kept them in the top flight since.
Recent form has seen the Hammers slip into the bottom half of the table despite a positive start that left them in the hunt for European qualification.
The club move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016 and it remains to be seen if Allardyce will be the man chosen to lead them there, although he is planning for next season as if he is to be at the helm.
"No, there's no truth in that," he said when asked about reports he had opened contract negotiations.
"What my future will be will be when we decide to sit down at West Ham and talk through our situation. Outside of that, at this moment, nothing else interests me.
"We are doing all the pre-season work. Martin (Glover), our head of recruitment, is looking to pull a list together with all the people that we work with.
"If and when we decide what is happening with some of the players...as always sort myself out, the most important thing, then we move forward with that."
One player who does not appear to be on Allardyce's radar is Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, the 23-year-old who has scored 23 goals in all competitions for the all-but promoted Cherries.
"I think he would probably be too expensive," Allardyce said when asked if Wilson would be a target.
"If Bournemouth let a player of his calibre go, after just being promoted to the Premier League, they would put a massive price on his head. If they were tempted to sell him it would be for a big number."
The club also confirmed on Thursday that Umbro will produce their kit from next season onwards after signing a five-year deal with the sportswear manufacturer.
Adidas currently produces all of the Hammers' official kits but the change will take place ahead of the club's final season at Upton Park before the move to the Olympic Stadium for the 2016/17 campaign.
Press Association Sport understands the new Umbro deal is twice the size of their technical partnership with Adidas, which was announced in 2013.
With a move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon, West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady was pleased to seal a new partnership.
"As we approach two historic seasons for West Ham United, we are delighted once again to team up with Umbro," she told the club's official website.
"(They are) a company which - like West Ham - is steeped in the heritage of English football but also a fast-growing global brand with an exciting future ahead.
"It is especially fitting that - during our final season at the Boleyn Ground - our players and fans will wear a brand synonymous with one of the finest moments in West Ham's rich history: England's 1966 World Cup triumph."
Independent.ie Comments Facility
INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.
We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie