Premier League

Juventus dismiss Cole link

Italian high flyers deny claims linking them with Hammers striker

Cole: Juve deny any interest

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Juventus have dismissed reports linking them with West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri handed Cole his debut when the pair were at Chelsea in 2002 and rated the 25-year-old highly during his time at Stamford Bridge.

The front man has sparked rumours after scoring five goals in his last six games helping West Ham to eighth in the Premier League table.

The former England Under 21 ace has become an integral part of manager Gianfranco Zola's plans at Upton Park following Craig Bellamy's recent departure to Manchester City and Dean Ashton currently a long-term injury casualty.

Denial

"We are not interested in Carlton Cole," Juventus sporting director Alessio Secco confirmed.

"We are very happy with the players we have in the team and we will not make any moves in the January transfer market."

Cole is contracted to the Upton Park club until 2010 after joining from Chelsea in July 2006.

The Italians are currently second in Serie A, three points behind leaders Inter, and their numbers up front have been boosted by the return to fitness of David Trezeguet after a lengthy lay-off.