Manuel Pellegrini has been talking up Andy Carroll’s value to the Irons squad at a time when the bookies are slashing the striker’s odds of staying at the Hammers.
It’s hardly the world’s biggest secret that with just five months to go before the end of his contract the Hammers are undecided over whether to extend his current deal or offer him a new one at a heavily reduced salary.
And Ladbrokes have cut his odds of staying at the club from 8/1 to 3/1 – a hefty move.
Whilst there have been no inquiries for the player at this stage it would come as no surprise at all if the relegation threatened outfits weren’t tempted to take a punt on the player who would probably cost in the region of £4m-£5m.
Any of Fulham, Southampton, Burnley, Cardiff, Newcastle or Palace could be expected to make a possible move for him although the player and his partner are believed to fancy a possible move to the MLS where a number of outfits could be interested.
In any event it looks far more likely that he will be moving on in the summer than in the winter transfer market.
Meanwhile Pellegrini said: “We are very happy with how Andy played. If you review his game, he scored, his play was good and he missed another chance to score, he cleared two or three aerial duels in our box, so in the way he plays, he will return to be the player we know he can be.
“I never had any doubt Andy Carroll wants to stay here. He is happy here, he wants to play for the Club, he is happy in London and he doesn’t want to go anywhere.
He wants to play like every player but he must be patient. When you come back from a long injury and you are not competing weekly, you have to be careful not to get another injury.
“That’s why we are giving him some amount of minutes every game. I think if he recovers his shape and continues working every day of the week without any injuries there are not too many players with his quality.”