David Moyes has admitted for the first time that there is a “good chance” Declan Rice will leave West Ham this summer.
Hammers captain Rice has ambitions to play for a Champions League club, but comes at a price tag of more than £100m.
However, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are believed to be interested in the 24-year-old English midfielder.
“We honestly hope he stays,” Moyes said. “We would love for him to be a West Ham player, but we are aware that might not be the case at the end of the season.
“So that’s one of the scenarios around planning. There are plans that we have Dec here, but we’re also fully aware that there’s a good chance that we won’t.”
Moyes has been unable to formulate plans for next season, while West Ham’s Premier League status remains unclear, although last week’s win over Manchester United has left them all but safe.
“Planning has been put on the back burner. It’s always been about making sure you’re a Premier League club,” added the Scotsman. “Your planning will completely collapse if you weren’t.
“A lot of it will only start to click once we realize we’ve kept our place in the Premier League. We’re watching a lot of players, a lot of games, doing a lot of scouting, but the truth is that the focus has been on staying in the Premier League.”
West Ham head to Brentford on Sunday following Thursday night’s 2-1 win over AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of the Europa Conference League semi-final.
Moyes is ready to make changes with the second leg in the Netherlands in mind, with Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio, who was limping after the game against AZ, all expected to rest.
“We’re still testing a lot of players, we’re less than 24 hours into the game,” he said. “Obviously there are bumps and bruises, but I hope Michail isn’t too bad.
“We’ll evaluate it, but it should be fine by Sunday.”