West Ham hopeful of Declan Rice deal before January

West Ham remain hopeful that the contract saga surrounding Declan Rice will end before the January transfer window, according to the BBC.

What’s the word?

Declan Rice has enjoyed a meteoric rise into the West Ham first-team in the past year and has impressed for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in recent weeks, catching the eye in the victory over Everton and the goalless draw with Chelsea.

The 19-year-old is regarded as the best graduate from West Ham’s renowned youth set-up in recent years and the Hammers are looking to secure the teenager down to a contract extension. However, he has snubbed their initial advances.

That has led to fears that the East London side could lose Rice for nothing when his current deal expires next season but a report from the BBC suggests fans should not be worried, as the Hammers are confident of reaching an agreement before January.

The key points

Not only are West Ham confident of securing Rice down to a new deal but the report adds there is no need for alarm bells to be ringing at the London Stadium as the teenager’s current deal has an option that means it is not due to expire until 2021.

Therefore, West Ham do not need to be rushed into a decision regarding the Republic of Ireland international but it does not mean they should delay a conclusion to the saga – as they need the stability that Rice provides.

Given his importance to the team, Rice certainly deserves an improvement on the deal that is currently on the table but the report should ease the concerns of fans amidst interest from rival Premier League sides.