Michail Antonio’s stellar start to the season in his contract year has backed West Ham United into a corner, and David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady are right to respond with the offer of a new deal.
According to Football Insider, West Ham are preparing to offer Antonio a new, two-year contract in the hope of keeping the forward at the London Stadium until three months past his 33rd birthday.
Antonio’s current £70,000-per-week terms, which makes the Tooting & Mitcham United product the Irons’ second-highest earner presently in east London, are due to expire at the end of the season – although the deal is suggested to include a one-year option to extend.
The Hammers hierarchy have decided to push on with plans to offer Antonio a new deal, which features a one-year extension clause, rather than triggering his current option as they consider keeping the London-born forward at the club for the rest of his career.
There is not thought to be a sense of urgency from the West Ham board to see Antonio put pen to paper on any new terms, though the attacker is keen to commit his future to the Irons after his status was cemented following David Moyes’ return to the club.
Antonio started 14 of his 15 Premier League appearances last season following Moyes’ return to replace Manuel Pellegrini at the helm, in which he scored nine goals and penned two assists. The 30-year-old has since followed up his efforts with two strikes in four top-flight starts in the current campaign.
With Antonio in the last year of his current terms before any extension clauses are considered, his form has backed the West Ham board into a corner and forced them to secure his long-term commitment rather than deliberate on cashing in during the final 12-months.
Moyes unmistakably sees Antonio as an integral cog in the system at the London Stadium, with the 30-year-old playing at least 88 minutes in each Premier League fixture this term, netting in defeat at Arsenal and victory over Leicester City.
No West Ham player has averaged a higher number of total duels won a game in the top-flight this term than Antonio, who tops the charts in east London with 9.5, along with the most shots on target (2), most times fouled (3.75), second-most successful dribbles (2) and fifth-most accurate final third passes (5.25), per SofaScore.
Irons chiefs would find it a challenging task trying to sell Antonio on settling for the one-year extension clause rather than new terms, which could also see the £8.55m-rated ace secure a pay-rise.