Slaven Bilic Warns West Ham Ace 'No Player Bigger Than the Club' Amid Reported Liverpool Interest
Slaven Bilic has warned Manuel Lanzini that "no player is bigger" than West Ham United as the playmaker emerges as a possible target for Liverpool.
The Argentina international has been tentatively linked as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho if the Reds star completes a move to La Liga giants Barcelona in the coming weeks.
In quotes published by ESPN, however, Bilic issued a thinly-veiled warning to his own star attacker about leaving the London Stadium ahead of the transfer window closing, before going on to state that Lanzini had shown no signs of wanting to up stick and move to the north west of England.
Bilic said: "With Manuel, no player is bigger than the club in any way. I am not talking about contracts, I am just talking about that he is just one player.
"He is just part of the team like any other player, [like] even [Lionel] Messi [at Barcelona] and all of them. But he is one of our key players definitely. He is a great lad and he knows his situation."
Bilic continued by revealing that the 2017/18 campaign could prove to be the making of the forward, and even claimed that a new deal could be in the offing to ward off interest from would-be suitors.
He said: "I spoke with Lanzini last season a few times and at the end of the season, then also at the beginning of the preseason. We are looking after him, that he is happy.
"It is a big season ahead of him. We know his situation and we are going to do everything possible to sort him out, although he has a long contract.
"But let's be honest the chairman always appreciates those kind of situations and I know that the chairman activated his clause even before he had to, so he has already shown him how much we respect him and all that.
Watch us sell coutinho on the 29th August and buy Manuel Lanzini for 50 bags. Finish 8th and we welcome the darkness back once more.— David Clarke (@__DaveClarke) August 11, 2017
"He deserves from us to do it again, no doubt he is a key player and we are going to look after him.
"Manu never showed me, any sort of things that he is unhappy. Then of course, every players wants to use their situation in the best possible way, but I know for sure that he is happy here.''
Lanzini has stepped up to be West Ham's main creator of goals following the January departure of Dimitri Payet to Marseille.
The attacking midfielder has made 79 appearances for the Hammers, and has notched 15 goals and seven assists in that time.