Manuel Pellegrini insists Andy Carroll will NOT be sold in the January transfer window.
The West Ham United striker has recently returned from an ankle problem, the latest setback in a injury-strewn career.
However, his physical style and lack of mobility has seen him struggle to have an impact in Pellegrini’s new-look side.
Against Brighton and Hove Albion, he was withdrawn after just 45 minutes as the Hammers claimed a 2-2 draw and his contract is up in the summer.
Despite this, Pellegrini insisted the striker (who turns 30 on Sunday) is still a hue part of his plans.
When asked if he expected to lose Carroll this month, the Hammers boss said: “I don’t think so. I think Andy will stay here with us, he is an important player for our team.
“He is just coming back from a long, long injury, and the way he is taking advantage of his minutes he will return to the player that we all know.”
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Carroll is likely to start against Birmingham City on Saturday in the FA Cup clash at the London Stadium.
Pellegrini is also likely to give a debut to new signing Samir Nasri, who signed on New Year’s Eve on a free transfer.
The 31-year-old former Manchester City and Arsenal midfielder completed his move once his 18-month doping ban was completed.