Bilic will step in to keep Oxford at West Ham amid Man United interest

Slaven Bilic is ready to step in to resolve Reece Oxford’s contract saga with West Ham and keep him from Manchester United’s grasp, according to reports from The Sun.

The 17-year-old defender-come-midfielder’s future has been in doubt for some time, with the player having supposedly rejected the offer of a new deal with the Londoners.

Man United boss Jose Mourinho is thought to be a fan of the player and has been keeping an eye on the situation, and reports suggest that Bilic is so concerned that he’s ready to step in personally to ensure Oxford, who’s frustrated with his lack of playing time, stays put.


Why is he so important?

Oxford is one of the most promising young English players in the Premier League. Although his game time has been limited – the teenager made seven league appearances last season and is yet to make an outing in the top flight this term – he rose to prominence during his debut as a 16-year-old.

Oxford successfully kept Mesut Ozil quiet during a 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on the opening day of last season, which set tongues wagging.

In fairness, such a performance at such a tender age does justify the attention received. And with just 18 months remaining on Oxford’s contract, Bilic has every right to be worried, even though the Croatian himself is thought to be under pressure following some poor results.

Should Oxford opt to run his contract down and leave on a free transfer, West Ham stand to miss out on a significant chunk of his true value – with an independent tribunal given the power to decide his worth.