It is almost a year since West Ham defender Reece Oxford made his debut for the Hammers; starting in Slaven Bilic's defence during the Croatian's first Premier League game in charge, against Arsenal. The 17-year-old went on to make a total of 12 appearances in his breakthrough campaign.
However, as he nears the anniversary of his Premier League debut, Oxford is currently struggling to negotiate fresh terms with the east London club, with wages proving to be a stumbling block.
That is according to the Daily Mail, who claim the England Under-19 is a target for both Manchester United and Manchester City, and has forced the club into slapping a massive £18 million price tag on the player who was unknown to many, just this time last year.
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West Ham have already rebuffed a £10 million offer from Bundesliga newcomers Red Bull Leipzig, who were ready to hand Oxford £20,000-a-week a week, to move to Germany. However, with the Hammers youngster getting no say on the deal, he remains tied to West Ham, who are keen to keep ahold of their academy graduate.
The club's owners David Gold and David Sullivan are eager to agree a new long-term deal with Oxford, who has two years to run on his current deal, however, both parties are currently a long way apart on both wages and bonuses.
The Hammers believe they should only pay wages relevant to his transfer value, but it is understood that Manuel Lanzini, who made his loan move to West Ham permanent this summer for £9.4 million, is understood to be earning three times as much as what Oxford has been offered.
But while West Ham continue their negotiations with the defender, City's Director of Football Txiki Begiristain is keen to act fast and make a bid for the youngster, in hope of beating off competition from local rivals, United, and increasing the number of British homegrown players at the club.
It is a minor disruption to Bilic's plans for the campaign ahead, as they move into their new Olympic Stadium home, with the Croatian having described Oxford as quick and mobile.
And Oxford has played a major role for England at the European Under-19s Championship in Germany, recently.
The 17-year-old helped England to victories over Croatia, France and Holland, before a 2-1 semi-final defeat to Italy and he’s also expected to feature for England's Under-20 side at next summer's World Cup in Korea.
West Ham will hope to persuade Oxford to lower his wage demands by tempting him with the offer of more regular first-team action if he stays at the Olympic Stadium, instead of making a tough move to either City or United.
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