West Ham United last week offered defender-cum-midfielder Declan Rice a new £40,000-per-week contract with the club, according to the Times.
The newspaper has revealed that the 6ft [Source: Transfermarkt] Hammers starlet wants his contract sorted before he makes a decision on his international future.
The 19-year-old, who has three uncompetitive caps for the Republic of Ireland, has made himself unavailable to Martin O’Neill as he considers switching his allegiances to England.
West Ham’s previous attempts to negotiate a new deal with Rice have all failed, although Sky Sports reports that the club are confident an agreement will be reached.
There was no clarification in The Times’s report about whether Rice accepted or rejected the new contract offer. £40,000-per-week does bring him a lot closer to his peers, and far above what most 19-year-old’s are on of course. Considering the club’s previously paltry contract offers surely Rice is considering signing this contract, which is much closer to what he was said to be looking for. This would be a massive hike in pay from the £1,000-per-week he is reportedly making at present [Source: Spotrac], so he would surely be crazy to dismiss it outright. It’s strange that the 19-year-old is waiting for his contract dispute to be resolved before he makes a decision on his international future, as the two matters have nothing to do with one another. Perhaps he simply wants to take his time before deciding whether to represent the Republic of Ireland or England moving forward. That’s a good thing obviously, but for Hammers fans they simply want the youngster to put pen to paper on a new deal.