West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has insisted that he does not expect Andy Carroll to depart the club in January, despite the striker’s contract only having six months to run.

Carroll’s renowned injury troubles have continued this season and have seen the 29-year-old make just eight Premier League appearances so far under Pellegrini. The striker was handed his first start in a year during the Hammers’ recent 2-2 draw with Brighton.

The former Liverpool forward was taken off at half time during the match, with his future at the London Stadium largely up in the air. However, when asked about a potential January exit for Carroll, Pellegrini insisted, as quoted by the Mirror: “I don’t think so.

“I think Andy will stay here with us, he is an important player for our team.

“He is just coming back from a long, long injury, and the way he is taking advantage of his minutes he will return to the player that we all know.

Carroll was named on the bench for West Ham’s FA Cup third round clash at home to Birmingham, though the former Newcastle star was called into action sooner than expected.

The striker replaced Marko Arnautovic just 20 minutes into the game at the London Stadium after the Austrian suffered an early injury, after having opened the scoring just two minutes into the match. However, Carroll repaid his manager's call, as he doubled his side's lead late on.

Depending on the severity of Arnautovic’s injury, Carroll could find himself called upon for even more regular action as the focal point of West Ham’s attack in the absence of their star man.