Last week saw mounting speculation over a possible move from Palace or Bournemouth for West Ham academy graduate Declan Rice but according to a report from a prominent Hammers website, the Irons hierarchy aren’t open to a sale of any kind this summer.
Whilst Rice is supposedly under contract until the summer of 2019, (Transfermarkt) West Ham’s board have received consistent criticism from the club’s supporters for not rewarding the 19-year-old with a contract that brings him closer in line with his teammates. Admittedly, he only broke into the first-team set-up properly over the course of the 2017/18 season but after playing a prominent role throughout, it seems supporters everywhere are keen to see his potential recognised with a new long-term deal.
Of course, the chances of West Ham letting one of their brightest young talents leave for a direct rival as a consequence of a contract dispute are extremely slim but from the outside looking in, it’s baffling to think that those behind the scenes aren’t making an effort to keep the Republic of Ireland international happy.
Whilst the “source” quoted isn’t named, there is no reason to disbelieve the report attached above and eventually, you would expect Rice to indeed put pen to paper on a new deal at The London Stadium but the longer time drifts by, the more jittery the Hammers support will become over the prospect of him moving on.
With Manuel Pellegrini still getting his feet under the table in Stratford, it’s probably fair to say that Rice’s contract hasn’t been his most pressing order of business but if he feels even remotely similar to the majority of West Ham fans over Declan’s potential for improvement, you would imagine he’ll be looking to iron out a new deal for him sooner rather than later, ending speculation of a Palace swoop in the process.
Watch this space.