In Focus: West Ham United’s firm stance on Lanzini can send a message

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has insisted that Manuel Lanzini is “happy” at the club and is expected to stay, reports the club’s official website.

What’s the word?

The Argentine quickly emerged as a transfer target for Liverpool when it became clear that Philippe Coutinho was wanted by Barcelona.

As it stands with less than two weeks left to go until the window closes, the Brazilian remains a Liverpool player.

The club released a statement last week insisting that the 25-year-old will not be sold, despite the player submitting a transfer request.

This stance, of course, helps West Ham if Liverpool have indeed placed Lanzini on their list of replacements, as reported by the Daily Star.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic has reiterated that the 24-year-old is content with life at the London Stadium and is expected to be at the club for the rest of the season.

“He knows if he has a good season at West Ham, he has the chance to improve, to have a better contract with West Ham and to play for Argentina. He is very happy here.

“I am sure he is going to stay with us. He knows that he is wanted. He was voted the Players’ Player of the Year, which is a really good thing. It makes you feel really wanted at a place. He likes it here.”

West Ham must not be swayed

If a big club like Liverpool come calling, it would be understandable if Lanzini’s head was turned, particularly as he would have the opportunity to fill Coutinho’s role.

Keeping hold of the midfielder would be a major victory for the Hammers, who were forced into selling their best player in January.

The East London outfit went through some turmoil when Dimitri Payet shockingly refused to play for the club again.

The Frenchman instigated a move back to Marseille, and he eventually got his wish.

There does not seem to be any indication that this situation would repeat itself with Lanzini, but losing a key player would reflect negatively on the club’s image and reputation.