Thursday 8 December 2016

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic keen to keep hold of Andy Carroll

Published 23/12/2015 | 22:46

Andy Carroll has been told he has a future at West Ham
Andy Carroll has been told he has a future at West Ham

Andy Carroll will not be sold in the January transfer window, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has said.

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Newcastle are reportedly ready to make a move for the striker who they sold to Liverpool in a £35million deal four years ago.

Carroll started in successive matches against Manchester United and then Stoke at the beginning of December before missing the Swansea draw after sustaining a thigh injury in training.

Yet despite scoring only once in a campaign which has again been thwarted by injuries, Bilic insists he wants Carroll to remain at Upton Park.

Asked if the 25-year-old - who could return to the West Ham team for their Boxing Day clash against Aston Villa - will be sold next month, Bilic said: "I don't think so. We need players. We need him fit and we need him back.

"I don't judge my centre-forwards on whether they score goals or not. In the game against Stoke he ran and he did everything,

"He was creating space, he was holding the ball up. He looked to me that he was back fitness-wise - and then he got injured. But hopefully the injury is not too bad.

"When he is fit, he's a big asset for us, he's a big weapon, and it is hard to play against him. He has his presence, his hunger, his ability, and of course he's really important for us. He fits into my attacking plans. I said this from the start and that has not changed."

Bilic also revealed James Collins, who has played only seven Premier League games this season, could be offered a new deal.

The 32-year-old defender is out of contract at the end of the season, but Bilic said he intends to speak to him about his future.

"Definitely, I will do that with him," Bilic said. "He wasn't just good against Swansea, but as I have said a number of times before, he's a brilliant professional.

"He has been from day one, whether he was on the bench, or just training or playing for five minutes or coming on for half an hour, or now 90 minutes, he's magnificent for us."

Press Association

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