West Ham are reportedly ready to offer young defender Declan Rice a new contract after the 19 year-old has impressed since breaking into the first-team earlier this season according to reports from Evening Standard.

The young defender has broken into the first team and is developing well, making 27 appearances for the club and as a result the Irons are willing to offer the defender an improved contract on the one he signed in March of 2017, which runs until 2020.

The 19-year-old, who began his career at Chelsea before moving to West Ham in 2014, has made considerable progress this season, both as a central defender and holding midfielder. West Ham are keen to recognise Rice’s development and will offer an improved long‑term deal regardless of which division they are playing in next season.

Rice, who earned his first cap for the Republic of Ireland in May in a 1-0 defeat against Turkey, received some criticism from his manager David Moyes after the teenager ducked under Aaron Ramsey's cross that then bounced past Joe Hart as the Gunners regained the lead in Sunday's 4-1 defeat to Arsenal.

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David Moyes' assistant manager Stuart Pearce, however, defended the youngster stating that he has full confidence that Rice will come back even stronger after his recent mistake.

“It’s one of those where you have to be supportive to young players, but it’s also one of those where you have to grow up very quickly because, if you’re given a shirt in the Premier League, you’re expected to do a man’s job, even if it says you’re a very young man above the door. When that ball flashes across our box again, Dec will be looking to put his head and feet on everything and that’s the beauty of it," said Pearce.

West Ham, who sit 15th in the Premier League table and six points above 18th placed Southampton in the dreaded relegation zone, return to Premier League action on Sunday as the Hammers face champions Manchester City at the London stadium.