West Ham United could be set to lose one of their brightest young prospects in the form of Declan Rice, after the defender rejected a new contract worth just £8,000 per week.
Despite his tender age of 19, Rice was one of the standout performers in an underwhelming season for West Ham, making 31 appearances for the club and winning over supporters with his work rate and maturity.
However, the Daily Mail are now claiming that Rice has turned down the offer of a new contract from the Hammers, given that other players at the club are currently earning significantly more in wages despite being of less value to the team.
Patrice Evra, for example, was reported to earn around £70,000 - £80,000 per week during his short-lived spell at the London Stadium, with West Ham losing 4-1 in three of the defender's five appearances for the club.
Suffice to say, West Ham supporters were not terribly impressed by the news that one of their brightest talents could be set to leave, with many taking to social media to have their say:
So apparently our “new and improved” contract offer to Declan Rice was £8,000 per week and now we face a fight to keep him.— West Ham News (@whufc_news) June 7, 2018
What an embarrassing and insulting offer for a first-team 19 year-old who has far more talent than some of our players on £50,000+ per week
Keep seeing tweets about Declan Rice and his wages for new contract.— Baz Cox ⚒ (@Baz1980WHU) June 7, 2018
I said it before and I’ll say it again, pay the man what he deserves through ability, NOT his age.
Imo he’s worth every penny of £30k a week and if we don’t pay that, I’m sure some other sensible club would.
Mail running a story that Declan Rice was offered a derisory £8k per week new contract when the likes of Oxford £20k pw and Carroll £90k pw are still employed by this club. If there's any truth to that it just further enhances why there's so much hatred towards them— BKHammer (@BKhammer1) June 7, 2018
Declan Rice this season:— West Ham News/Views (@WHUFC_News_6) June 7, 2018
• 33 Appearances.
• One of our best defenders this season.
• Runner-up to HOTY.
• Young HOTY.
• Gets offered £8k a week wage.
Reece Oxford’s career:
• 8 Appearances
• One good performance against Arsenal.
• On £20k a week!
Rice made his debut for the Republic of Ireland in 2018, recently being awarded Man of the Match for his performance in the Green Army's 2-1 win over the USA.
It seems maddening that West Ham would risk alienating and potentially losing such a promising talent over a understandably laughable contract offer, and it would appear Rice currently holds all the cards at the London Stadium. If West Ham don't come back with an improved offer, it's unlikely Hammers fans would begrudge the defender were he to seek a move to a club that would value his talent more and be willing to show it through a respectable wage offer.