Michail Antonio has admitted that he is uncertain about his West Ham future, but insists he is focused on fighting his way back into the starting lineup.
The 28-year-old has not started a Premier League match since late September, with 20-year-old Grady Diangana often taking to the field ahead of Antonio. He found himself the subject of criticism from fans following disappointing cameos against Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur, and he has been heavily linked with an exit from the club.
Antonio was asked about his future by Goal, and refused to rule out a January departure. He said: “It’s just one of them things where I’m trying to play football right now.
“Whatever happens, happens. I’m not saying I’m going to leave, I’m not saying I’m going to stay. It’s just right now I’m not in the team and I’m trying to work my way back into the team.”
Antonio was the subject of interest from Crystal Palace and, according to Sky Sports, West Ham were willing to part with the winger if they received an offer of over £15m, but the move failed to materialise and Antonio remained with the Hammers.
However, the links between Antonio and Crystal Palace have persisted, prompting a huge amount of speculation over the future of the versatile forward.
Antonio's poor form has coincided with Diangana's rise to prominence. The youngster made his debut in the 8-0 demolition of Macclesfield Town in the Carabao Cup, and he caught the attention of manager Manuel Pellegrini, who began to regularly include Diangana in his matchday squads.
He has since started three league games and managed to pick up an assist during the 3-2 victory over Burnley. Many fans are excited about Diangana's potential, but his inclusion in the first team has come at the expense of Antonio. If West Ham receive a respectable offer in January, they may find themselves keen to sever their ties with Antonio.