Hammers starlet Declan Rice has attracted plenty of attention this week following the latest updates regarding his contract saga, with the 19-year-old Republic of Ireland international snubbing an offer from the East London side.
West Ham have offered around £15k-a-week to their academy graduate, The Guardian reports, but the teenager has snubbed that deal as he is holding out for a more lucrative deal that he feels he deserves after establishing himself as a first-team regular.
Plenty has been said regarding the situation and former midfielder Danny Murphy is amongst those that have weighed in with their thoughts but The Guardian says his comments have upset the Hammers due to the fact he used to be represented by Rice’s agent.
Neil Fewings represents the young midfielder and West Ham believe Murphy should have made his connection to the agent clear after he told TalkSport it was ‘ridiculous’ Rice has not been tied down to a new deal.
“I’m amazed West Ham haven’t got him a new contract sorted. Why haven’t they sorted it? This lad hasn’t just come into the first team, he’s been around since last season. This is typical of lots of clubs who forget to reward young lads when they’re doing really well.
“I don’t mean stupid money, I don’t agree with young lads who aren’t in the first team earning £20,000 a week. But he is on a very low contract, playing at the top level, dealing with some top players and looking very, very accomplished.
“All of a sudden he’s only got next season on his contract and what, West Ham think the big clubs aren’t watching him now? I’m amazed at West Ham, it’s ridiculous for a lad of this talent. It shouldn’t have got to this. You can’t let this happen.
“They’ve got a problem now after his last couple of performances. They’ve got a super young player who they haven’t looked after and dealt with. Hopefully they deal with it soon.
“He’s probably very happy there and wants to stay, but they have to act quickly because his performances now are taking him to a different level.”
While Murphy should have made it clear he does have some connections to Rice’s agent, this is hardly anything new for West Ham to hear and the Hammers deserve all the criticism they are getting for finding themselves in the situation.
Having splashed over £100m in the summer, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have no excuse for pinching the pennies when it comes to a new deal for a player who deserves a significant improvement on the offer that is on the table.
Using Rice’s age against him with criticism is not fair as he has shown he has the capabilities to become a key player for the Hammers and also on the international stage with the Republic of Ireland.