West Ham are plotting a new contract for Michail Antonio even though he is sidelined with a long-term injury, Football Insider understands.
The versatile attacking midfielder, 29, has a £70,000-a-week deal that runs until the summer of 2021, by which point he will have turned 31.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that the club are weighing up opening new deal talks with Antonio as they look to secure his long-term future.
Manuel Pellegrini is a big admirer of the adaptability of Antonio, who can slot into any number of attacking positions, as well as at full-back or wing-back.
The Englishman also has an eyecatching scoring record for the Hammers of 28 goals from 132 matches, that have been supplemented by 18 assists.
He has been out injured since tearing his hamstring in the club’s League Cup win over Newport County on 24 August.
Antonio is making sound progress in his recovery and Pellegrini hopes he will be back in action later this month.
West Ham have missed Antonio’s aerial excellence as well as his habit of scoring crucial goals, with their attacking midfielders struggling to provide cutting edge over the last month.
The club are 10th in the Premier League table but their form of late has been mixed and a tally of 13 goals is regarded as inadequate by Pellegrini, who sets up the team to play attacking football.