Manuel Lanzini says he wants to stay at West Ham amid contract talks
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 22/08/19 8:58am
Manuel Lanzini insists he wants to stay at West Ham as talks continue over a new contract.
Sky Sports News reported earlier this week that West Ham were keen to secure the Argentina midfielder to a new long-term deal.
Lanzini has only 12 months left to run on his existing contract, but West Ham do hold an option to extend his deal by a further two years.
West Ham are determined to ensure Lanzini has a contract with the club beyond 2022 and the 26-year-old says he would be happy to extend his stay at the London Stadium.
When asked about his future, Lanzini told Sky Sports News: "Yes, we are talking with the club about staying and, of course, I want to stay.
"It is like my home. It is my fifth season now, I love the fans, the fans love me and the club is amazing."
Lanzini suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury last summer which ruled him out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and left him on the sidelines for eight months.
He made his return from injury last February in a 3-1 victory over Fulham, but arguably struggled to return to his very best form before the end of last season as he worked his way back to full fitness.
Lanzini appears to have returned to the form he showed prior to sustaining the injury and was West Ham's standout performer in the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Saturday, providing the assist for Javier Hernandez to open the scoring at the Amex Stadium.
"When I was injured, it was really hard, it was a bad time. It was before the World Cup, it was going to be my first World Cup and I wanted to play," Lanzini said.
"It was difficult, but I want to say thank you to my family, my girlfriend, my son and all the people that stayed with me.
"It's difficult because you can't help the team. You see the team may have lost, drawn or play badly and you just want to help.
"I spoke everyday with Manuel [Pellegrini] and he understands me and I understand him. I did a really good recovery and since I started to play again, I believe I have done really well."
West Ham are still searching for their first win of the new Premier League season, but Pellegrini will be hoping the point gained at Brighton will have banished the memories of their 5-0 opening day home defeat against champions Manchester City.
Ahead of the trip to Watford on Saturday, Lanzini says West Ham are targeting Europe and are aiming to finish as close to the top six as possible.
"We hope to stay near the top six and try to get into the Europa League, that is the most important thing for us," he said.
"We know that it is difficult because in the Premier League you never know, all the teams are very good.
"We have signed very good players and spent a lot of money, but we need to work hard to achieve this."