Chelsea won't accept Clarke's resignation
LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea refused on Friday to accept the resignation of assistant coach Steve Clarke and declined to give permission for West Ham United to talk to him.
West Ham have asked to speak to Clarke with a view to him joining new manager and former Chelsea team mate Gianfranco Zola.
"Chelsea can confirm that West Ham have made an approach with regards to talking to Steve Clarke. They have not been given permission to talk to him," the club said in a statement.
"Steve Clarke has tendered his resignation as assistant first team coach. We have not accepted his resignation. Talks are continuing."
Clarke, 45, has spent 20 years at the club as a player and coach and is hugely popular with the fans.
He joined in 1987, making more than 400 appearances over the next 11 years, and helping them to win the FA Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and League Cup.
After a brief spell as assistant to Ruud Gullit at Newcastle United, he returned to Chelsea where he filled various coaching roles with the youth and first teams.
Zola, who spent seven years at Chelsea, took over at West Ham this week following the resignation of Alan Curbishley.
(Editing by John Mehaffey)
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