Filed: Tuesday, 13th May 2003
By: Graeme Howlett
Czech defender Tomas Repka has given the Hammers a boost by confirming that he is happy to stay at the club - despite Sunday's relegation from the Premiership.
Repka, who is rapidly becoming something of a cult figure at West Ham confirmed that he would be back at Upton Park next season - assuming, of course, that the club don't decide to cash in on him first.
"I'm not lacking for anything at West Ham and I would be very happy to help them back into the Premier League," the 27-year-old centre-half told Czech daily Pravo.
"We'll see what happens over the summer, but for now I just want to relax after what was a mentally very tough season.
"Twelve or more players could easily leave. With those players whose contracts are ending, the bosses probably won't prolong them. Apparently they'll even sell some of the talented youngsters, which is a shame."
Repka, who has already returned home for his summer break added:
"I've been told that I should come back after my holidays - although I heard that two years ago when I was at Fiorentina, and a few weeks later I was at West Ham!
"Anything can happen but I've got no information to suggest that there has been any great interest in me from someone else."
That news will come as a welcome boost to the club who, in the last 24 hours, have been stunned by a transfer request from leading goalscorer Jermain Defoe and reports suggesting that Lee Bowyer is somewhat less than keen to play in the First Division.
Repka - who joined the Hammers in a £5m switch from defunct Italian outfit Fiorentina two seasons ago has had his fair share of critics - none more so than the early part of last season, especially within media circles.
But a series of excellent performances toward the end of the season have righted any earlier wrongs, and the centre-half once dubbed Serie A's 'most effective defender' appears once again to be showing the kind of form that persuaded Glenn Roeder to splash out a club record transfer fee.
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