Sam Allardyce is preparing for the Championship season in the belief that Scott Parker will be sold before the end of the month.
Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are keen to cut costs but as yet there has been no firm interest in Parker.
Parker, last season's Footballer Writers' Player of the Year, is still said to be on Tottenham's radar but their London rivals are concerned at the total cost for a player who is now 30.
"At the end of the day, Scott's position is delicate because at any one time, someone will hit the numbers that we would value him at," Allardyce told the Sun. "If that's the case and it's the Premier League - a place where he wants to be - he will be gone. It would be wrong of me to plan with Scott."
With Parker's future unclear, Allardyce has decided to install Kevin Nolan, who he bought from Newcastle for £4.5 million, as the club's new captain. Having worked with the 29-year-old at Bolton, Allardyce is confident he has given the right man the armband.
Matthew Upson was the club's captain last season but left at the end of his contract.
Allardyce added: "Kevin is definitely the captain. As a captain, you're talking about a player's ability and you attach ability to being a captain, which is wrong. This is obviously born out of Scott's rousing West Brom speech he gave in the dressing room last season - I'd like to hear a transcript of that. I might use it myself.
"Kevin is here because he thinks his future lies here for the next four or five years and his belief is that he wants us to get back in the Premier League. That's the key thing about appointing Kevin. He has been a Premier League player all his life bar two seasons. Not only can I preach the way forward, Kevin can do it better than I can as he has been in the second tier and I haven't for 10 years."
Meanwhile, Allardyce has called on the less experienced players to "make a name for themselves" as he looks to youth to supplement his attacking options. Freddie Piquionne and Carlton Cole, who spurned the chance to join Stoke, are the only two recognised strikers and, although Shane Long has been mentioned, West Ham are likely to struggle to match his £7 million valuation especially with Leicester believed to be preparing a bid.
"Cole made his own decision," said Allardyce. "After we agreed a fee with Stoke, he decided he wanted to stay with us. That's a big boost because we only have two recognised strikers - he and Piquionne. We have younger ones like Zavon Hines, Freddie Sears and Junior Stanislas and these guys have to make a name for themselves this season.
"If they want to be West Ham players, they have to establish themselves in the Championship and that's a big challenge for them."