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Pelle tight-lipped on Perez

Filed: Thursday, 10th January 2019
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Pellegrini has refused to comment on speculation linking Lucas Perez with a return to Spain.

The former Arsenal forward has barely featured for West Ham since making the move from north to east London last summer and according to speculation from Spain, is being chased by Real Betis.

However when asked to clarify the situation, Pellegrini replied: "Lucas is part of our squad - and for the moment, he will continue with us."

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The manager, who was speaking ahead of Saturday's derby against Arsenal was equally non-committal when asked about the future of Andy Carroll, whose current contract expires this summer (although West Ham retain the option to exercise a two-year clause should they so wish).

"Andy is improving his performance," replied Pellegrini. "He made a good impact when he came on against Birmingham in the Cup.

"As a striker, when you score a goal you have a good game. Andy scored a goal, cleared one off the line and had more chances to score too.

"So, I am happy with the way he is working and hope he will be the same player we know he can be."

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And Pellegrini was equally pleased with the contribution of new signing Samir Nasri, who made his West Ham debut in the FA Cup last weekend and should feature at some point against his former club this weekend. "It was very useful for him to get minutes against Birmingham," he mused.

"He played 60 minutes, he has been working with us very hard for around 40 days now so he has demonstrated he is able to play and he will be involved in the game against Arsenal."

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