David Moyes may have had the best year of his managerial career but he has yet to agree a new contract at West Ham.

Moyes led the Hammers to a first trophy in 43 years in June when they won the Europa Conference League, and they ended 2023 lying sixth in the Premier League.

“If I look back on things to win a trophy would mean that I would say ‘yes’, it would have to be my best year,” said the former Everton and Manchester United boss.

“To win a trophy in 2023… you have to say it was difficult for the first part of last season, we couldn’t get a result, we didn’t start well, we had a few new players coming in.

“But once we got to the World Cup, that was my thing. I think we improved in the second half of the season. Somebody said to me it’s been my best start to a season, but I think probably the second half of last season was my best finish because of winning the trophy.”

The Hammers hierarchy are understood to be about to open talks with Moyes about a new contract, with his current deal set to expire this summer.

Asked whether the uncertainty surrounding his future could affect West Ham’s ability to sign players in January, the 60-year-old Scot added: “Yes, of course.

“But I also hope players will also talk about a guy who has managed over 1000 games, and I’m comfortable with it.

“I can go and discuss it tomorrow because I’ve got a great relationship with the board so I can do it at the right time, and there seems to be more talk from other people whereas we’re quite cool about it.”

Moyes will check on the fitness of centre-halves Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd and midfielder Lucas Paqueta ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of Brighton.

Zouma and Aguerd missed Thursday’s 2-0 win at Arsenal while Paqueta limped off with a calf problem.

David Moyes saluted his “maverick” forward Lucas Paqueta after the 2-1 Europa League win at Freiburg, even though he drives him mad.

Freiburg’s nickname is the Breisgau Brazilians due to their flamboyant style of play, but it was West Ham’s Samba star Paqueta who stole the show.

He put them ahead after only nine minutes with a towering header from a cross by Jarrod Bowen, celebrating his return to the England squad.

Paqueta then spent the rest of the evening tormenting the hosts with his array of flicks, tricks and occasional theatrics.

“It was a bit of an old-fashioned goal, down the side with a good cross, and then a great header like an old-fashioned centre forward. I really enjoyed watching it,” said Hammers boss Moyes.

“Jarrod played well but Lucas was terrific. He drives me mad sometimes but everybody who watched him would have said this player has got incredible talent.

“There is a word that goes around, a maverick. He is that for us.

“It is really important we get him in and adapt to him and accept some of his things he may not do, things which I would say are conventional.

“But we are really enjoying him at the moment and he is terrific at taking the ball under pressure – but also there are moments when I say: ‘what are you doing’?”

The match may have taken place on the edge of the Black Forest, but it was never going to be a piece of cake for the Hammers against a side eighth in the Bundesliga.

They were also up against 34,000 noisy fans, with no away supporters allowed to attend following incidents during West Ham’s Europa Conference League final triumph in June.

Freiburg equalised after half-time through Roland Sallai, but Nayef Aguerd’s header from a James Ward-Prowse corner made it two wins from two in Group A and a 17th match undefeated in Europe, a record for an English club.

“It’s a brilliant achievement, I’ve said to the boys we need to keep it going. Winning the game tonight was most important,” added Moyes.

“I’m really pleased. We played very well especially, in the opening 20 or 30 minutes.

“They came back, which I expected. They got better and we had moments when we played very well but we mainly won the first half. We had to then be good defensively.”

What the papers say

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly interested in making a bid for West Ham defender Nayef Aguerd next summer, the Sun reports. They may face stiff competition for the 27-year-old Moroccan from Manchester City.

Tottenham are leading the race for 16-year-old Croatian youngster Luka Vuskovic who has been linked to four other teams including Liverpool, Chelsea, Paris St Germain and Manchester City, according to the Telegraph. The teenager would not join Tottenham until the summer of 2025.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Marco Verratti: Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich all had unsuccessful bids to sign the 30-year-old Italian from Paris St Germain this summer, Football Transfers says.

Alex Baena: Aston Villa are interested in signing the 22-year-old forward from Villareal, Spanish outlet Fichajes reports.

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