West Ham are playing a dangerous game with their stance over starlet Declan Rice.
The club are trying to negotiate a new deal for the 19-year-old.
But he has rejected their £15,000-a-week offer – as reported by the London Evening Standard.
Supposedly, that weekly wage would increase after every 15 Premier League games, but Rice and his team have turned it down.
The player’s representatives want a higher basic wage for their client.
Rice currently earns just £3000-a-week, despite having been a member of the first team for at least a year.
What’s more, he is playing regularly, while some of his teammates warm the bench on much higher wages.
Jamie Carragher is right
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes Rice is well within his rights to play hardball over the situation.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “I look at him and it’s not just Declan Rice, it’s every young player who comes through at a Premier League club or any club always have to be seen to be grateful they’re playing and they can’t just ask for a bit more money.
“If there was a young foreign player signed from abroad there’d be no questions about what they deserve.
“I felt it when I was playing that because I was a local lad at Liverpool I had to be seen to be grateful.”
It’s some interesting insight from Carragher, who is obviously well placed to know about asking for more money as a local lad.
West Ham must pay up or risk losing a diamond
Manuel Pellegrini should be imploring the powers that be to pay Rice what he wants.
The London-born utility man, who currently represents the Republic of Ireland but could declare for England, is one of the Premier League’s most promising teenage stars at the moment.
He’s already made 30 league appearances for the club, and has just shone against Everton and Chelsea.
West Ham have to pay up, because Rice will not be short of suitors if they don’t.
The famous West Ham youth academy has stalled in recent years.
But in Rice they may have unearthed a gem. They cannot risk messing him around.