Shelvey has slipped down the pecking order under Rafa Benitez in recent weeks since recovering from a thigh problem, with Sean Longstaff, Isaac Hayden, Mo Diame and Ki Sung-yueng all seemingly preferred as midfield options.
Benitez was even questioned recently about Shelvey’s lack of game time, explaining that there are simply better options currently available.
“It is very easy to explain why he is not playing,” said Benitez.
“You have Longstaff and Hayden doing well. Still you have Ki and Diame – they were ahead of him – and they are not in the team, so you have five midfielders now for two positions.
“We don’t have the the space – physically, you cannot put more than 18 players in the squad. Someone has to stay out and that is my problem to decide.”
Now, a report from The Sun on Sunday suggests that the Hammers – who were keen on a move in January – are closing in on a £20million deal for Shelvey.
The former Swansea star is a boyhood West Ham fan and considering the doubts over his future, he could be tempted to make the move south.
When asked whether Shelvey will stay beyond this season, Benitez was non-committal in his response: “I think so. He is under contract.”
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