The future of young West Ham starlet Declan Rice appears to be on hold following recent contract talks.
It is believed the young defender has rejected a new contract offer of £8,000 per week. The 19-year-olds current contract, which expires in 2020, is believed to be in the region of £3,000 per week. Significantly less than some players of a similar age who have yet to progress to the first team.
Rice has played 32 times for the club since his debut in the last game of the 2016-17 season. He was a shining light in an otherwise poor past season for the hammers. He won Young Player of the Year for the second season in a row. And was runner up in the Hammer of the Year Award to Marko Arnautovic.
Rice has also managed to break into the senior International set-up having played for Ireland in their recent friendlies against Turkey, France and USA. In each of these games he has earned rave reviews and Man of the Match Awards, even being tipped as a future captain for Ireland. He has also won Young Player of the Year for Ireland at U17 level (2017) and U19 (2018).
This latest news is another hammer blow to recent managerial appointment Manuel Pellegrini. Pellegrini has stated he wishes to ‘sign young players’ and losing one of West Hams most promising prospects due to contract negotiations would surely create another storm with the board if reports are to be believed.
If West Ham are serious about progression and ‘the next level’ the board will need to act fast to resolve the talks with Rice’s representatives. Otherwise the already fragile relationship with the fans could escalate yet again.
No doubt this latest standoff will have alerted numerous Premiership sides who have been monitoring the progress of the player.