David Moyes has rejected the idea that West Ham need to qualify for the Champions League in order to keep hold of star players like Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek or sign Jesse Lingard on permanent basis.
Having flirted with relegation last season, the Hammers remain well in contention for an unprecedented top four finish this time around, but Moyes feels the club is a place where players would want to be regardless.
Speaking to the media this week, Moyes said: “If we make the Champions League, I don't see that has to be the reason that we can keep them.”
The former Manchester United boss is also calm over the future of Lingard, who has enjoyed an excellent loan spell from United so far, propelling himself back into the England set-up.
“We will say yes we’d love to have Jesse [permanently], because of how well he’s doing,” Moyes said, “but we’ve still got nine games to go to judge and assess Jesse, just like Manchester United will have a period of time to think whether they sell or keep him. There’s nothing in place at the moment.”
Hammers vice-captain Rice has enjoyed a particularly fine season, prompting talk of a move to Manchester United, while his midfield partner Soucek, who signed in January of last year, has also been in superb form, with nine goals putting him among the Premier League’s highest-scoring midfielders.
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