West Ham United are currently at a crossroads with Declan Rice in their pursuit of tying down the club captain to a deal which would see him commit his long-term future at the London Stadium.
That is according to Irons insider Sean Whetstone, who has informed 6foot2 of the contract standoff in which the Hammers find themselves with their star midfielder.
What’s the word?
The insider states that Declan and his father/agent Sean have continued to decline a massive record £83.2m contract from the east London club.
As per 6foot2, Whetstone said: “The Hammers have offered the Rices an eight-year contract worth £200,000 a week but it has remained on the table without further negotiation and the club are now preparing themselves that it is unlikely to be signed now.”
Worrying for West Ham
Rice has endured a tremendous rise to the first-team captaincy, accruing 204 appearances and leading the side at the age of just 23 and becoming a genuine fan favourite along the way, and indeed a stalwart for his country.
The Irons skipper is a well-rounded midfielder who ranks among the top 10% of positional peers in Europe’s major leagues for pass completion, interceptions made, aerial duels won, shots blocked and total ball-carrying distance, as per FBRef.
However, the question is, does Rice feel as though he can fulfil his full potential at the London Stadium?
Right now, he may have doubts over that, given the lowly league position in which the Hammers find themselves after a dire start to the domestic season.
Given the chain of events which saw England team-mate Harry Kane miss out on a move to Manchester City in 2021, an eight-year contract might do Rice no favours if he wants to fulfil his ambition of playing in the Champions League.
It’s an ambitious ask from West Ham to get their captain to commit so much of his career to the club, all the while venturing that bit closer to the possibility of losing their star midfielder on a free transfer as his contract ticks down.