West Ham legend Julian Dicks insists the club should not be forced into allowing Scott Parker to leave on the cheap if they are relegated from the Barclays Premier League.
His team may have been struggling to battle relegation all season, but Parker has enjoyed the most successful year of his career. The midfielder's outstanding performances at the heart of the team have earned him a regular place in the England squad and the player of the year award from the Football Writers' Association.
"It's down to the club if they want to sell him or not," said the former West Ham skipper. "He's under contract. They can make him stay there so at the end of the day if they want £10million for him then they should hold out for £10million for him. If it happens it happens and if it doesn't then he stays at West Ham."
Parker was the subject of a bid from Tottenham last summer and is expected to be offered several escape routes out of Upton Park if the Hammers are relegated to the npower Championship.
Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold admit relegation will hit the club hard in the pocket, but that should not mean selling their most-prized asset cheaply, according to Dicks.
Dicks, who played over 300 times for the club, blasted some members of the current squad on Monday for not showing the fight they need to get themselves out of the relegation zone.
He insists that manager Avram Grant still has an outside chance of leading his men to safety, but has warned that they will probably have to win their remaining matches against Blackburn, Wigan and Sunderland to do it.
"The next three games are very winnable, and for me they have to win them all," said Dicks, who now manages non-league side Grays Athletic.
"I think they can do it. Sunderland are struggling, so are Blackburn, and so are Wigan, so if West Ham go out and be more positive and work harder, then they have a great chance of staying up."