David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady now face paying the price of success by awarding Declan Rice a substantial pay-rise after West Ham United rebutted Chelsea’s efforts to sign the England international this summer.
According to The Sun, the Hammers are potentially set to double Rice’s salary with a new, long-term contract as a sign of his stature as the best player at the London Stadium after demanding at least £80million for the holding midfielder in the summer transfer market.
Chelsea had hoped to acquire Rice as a key part of Frank Lampard’s new side, but never got as far as presenting a formal offer having baulked at West Ham’s mammoth asking price.
Rice is currently mid-way through a five-year contract that saw the 21-year-old jump from earning £3,000-per-week to £60,000-p/w, which Gold and Sullivan had been reluctant to offer at the time.
Now, they face presenting Rice with a deal worth £120k-p/w and making him the club’s top-earner, eclipsing the £100,000-per-week terms of Andriy Yarmolenko for the honour after offloading Felipe Anderson to FC Porto on loan in a deal which sees the Liga NOS giants pay 50% of his contract.
West Ham would also be looking to secure Rice’s long-term commitment in any new contract, but by increasing his wages by 100% it would see GSB forfeit an extra £60,000-p/w for the next 194 weeks (the time left on his current contract which expires 30th June 2024), meaning forking out an additional £11,640,000 over that period than they would currently be in line to pay.
A new contract could also help the Irons protect Rice’s value in any future transfer interest, with a handful of the top Premier League clubs said to be admirers of the former Chelsea trainee.
As impressive as it was for West Ham to retain Rice and not weaken their position in negotiations with Chelsea, keeping a player at the club after requesting a gargantuan £80m was always set to leave GSB in a position where they must offer the 21-year-old new terms.
Simply put, West Ham saw fit to offer Anderson an £85,000-per-week contract when he signed from SS Lazio in 2018 and hand Yarmolenko his lucrative deal that Spotrac claim is worth £115k-p/w, but neither have offered anywhere near as much as Rice in the past 12 months.
Anderson managed to start just 20 of his 25 Premier League appearances last season while offering one sole goal and four assists, with his last involvement in any strike coming in the Hammers’ 4-0 win over the would-be relegated AFC Bournemouth on New Year’s Day.
Yarmolenko, meanwhile, offered five goals and one assist over his 23 top-flight appearances last term, of which he started a mere 10 having missed months of action through a tear in the abductor muscle following a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture in his debut campaign.
Rice, on the other hand, started and played the full 90 minutes in each of West Ham’s league fixtures in 2019/20 and has remained one of the first names on the team sheet this term, while captaining the side against Arsenal, Wolves and Leicester – another sign of why he deserves the new terms GSB will have to offer.