Manuel Pellegrini does not expect West Ham to sell injury-plagued striker Andy Carroll in the January transfer window.
Carroll’s future remains uncertain as he turns 30 on Sunday and only has a contract until the end of the season.
The injury-hit striker has figured only sparingly this term and made his first start in a year against Brighton on Wednesday, only to be taken off at half-time.
Nevertheless, when asked if he expected to lose Carroll this month, Hammers boss Pellegrini 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.”
Carroll is expected to start in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round meeting with Birmingham.
Samir Nasri is also set to make his debut, having been an unused substitute in midweek.
The 31-year-old former Manchester City and Arsenal midfielder joined the Hammers as a free agent on New Year’s Eve once his 18-month doping ban was complete.
Having played three games in seven days and with a lengthy injury list, Pellegrini will make further changes against the Championship play-off hopefuls.
But he insisted: “It’s important to rest players who have played so many games in December but also it is important to continue in the FA Cup.
“It is a way to get a spot in Europe, to win a championship, so we are going to play this game as seriously as we can.
“But, of course there are some players who have played too many games so we will see which ones will be able to continue playing.
“First of all to win a title with West Ham is a very important thing, it is one of my targets and the way I think and have my mentality, I always try to win.
“I think the FA Cup is a very important trophy, a good cup, the whole country plays it, so of course for any manager it is always beautiful to win.”
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