David Moyes has insisted he isn’t concerned that he could lose his best players if West Ham fail to reach the Champions League.
The Hammers are currently sixth in the Premier League, but could leapfrog Liverpool and Chelsea into fourth should they win their Monday night encounter with Wolves.
After battling against relegation last season – eventually finishing five points above the drop zone in 16th – it has been a campaign that has defied expectations for West Ham, with the likes of Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice having been particularly impressive.
The Hammers’ winter acquisition of Jesse Lingard on loan from Manchester United has also added a new element to the attacking play of Moyes’ side as they look to clinch a place at Europe’s top table next season.
However, the former Everton boss isn’t concerned at the prospect of losing his best players if they fall short of achieving Champions League qualification.
“We were just avoiding relegation last year when we signed Tomas. We brought him in to help us avoid relegation. And Declan Rice was playing in that relegation team,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“And I’m also asked about keeping Jesse Lingard when we brought him to give him some games. So, to suddenly turn around and say we need to make the Champions League to keep them.
“Well, I think all those boys would be saying a massive thank you to West Ham for actually helping them get their careers back on track and putting them in the right direction.
“If we make the Champions League, I don’t see that has to be the reason that we can keep them.”
In the case of Lingard, West Ham are somewhat powerless in their hopes of keeping him at the London Stadium, the 28-year-old only joining on loan, with the Old Trafford side not allowing an option to buy to be inserted.
His performance for the East London club are only likely to have increased his value, though there have even been suggestions that United could even look to keep their academy graduate going into next season.
Moyes added: “We will say yes we’d love to have Jesse, because of how well he’s doing, but we’ve still got nine games to go to, to judge and assess Jesse, just like Manchester United will have a period of time to think whether they want to sell or keep him. There’s nothing in place at the moment.”