Declan Rice has been a revelation for West Ham over the past 12 months, but the Hammers risk opening themselves up to an unnecessary gamble if they decide to delay contract talks with the 19-year-old.
The Guardian say that the club are prepared to do so and hold off talks until the end of the campaign as Rice remains reluctant to accept the latest offer of £15,000 per week, an increase on his £3,000 per week wages at present.
His existing deal only has 18 months left to run, though the club say that they could extend it by another 12 months due to a clause. However, that may not go down well with a player who does not want to be at the club.
There would be no shortage of potential suitors lining up to pay Rice the £30,000 per week that he is said to be demanding. Given how much West Ham have played some others, such as injury prone stars like Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll, it would be a wise investment.
Not only would the club be investing in a player who can be a key part of the team’s spine for years to come, but he is also a talent who could be sold in the future for huge profit, rather than allowing him to run his contract down and leave cheaply.
West Ham’s lack of urgency in the matter is inexplicable and could only end badly if the club do stick to this approach. It may be a mere negotiating tactic, but it is a risk which the club should not seriously consider taking.