West Ham may have to offer Declan Rice a lucrative contract if they want to keep him at the club this summer, according to Eurosport journalist Dean Jones.
What’s the latest transfer news involving Rice?
Last week, it was revealed that Rice had recently turned down two contract extension offers from West Ham. The midfielder has been attracting interest from Chelsea and Manchester United, and it is believed that Rice feels he could handle the step up to a big club.
West Ham reportedly value Rice at around £80m, and the 22-year-old wants to be recognised as one of the best players in the country, so it has been claimed that the Irons might have to offer him a wage packet that has never been seen at the club before if they want him to stay in east London.
What is Rice’s current wage packet?
Andriy Yarmolenko is the team’s biggest earner right now, as he receives £115,000-per-week, while Rice is also behind the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek in terms of salary.
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What did Shearer say about Rice?
Speaking about Rice back in May, Alan Shearer lavished praise on the holding midfielder, and predicted that the youngster would have a vital role to play at Euro 2020.
Speaking on Match of the Day, as quoted by The Boot Room, Shearer said: “I think he will be vital for England in the summer. The way he plays, still only 22. I think he reads the game, he’s obviously got an excellent partnership with [Tomas] Soucek in the midfield.
“He keeps it simple, he stops teams attacking. Can play, can pass. I think he’s an excellent player.”
Should West Ham take an unprecedented step and offer Rice a lucrative contract?
Shearer’s claim that Rice would be crucial at the Euros has proved correct, with the West Ham man starting each of England’s first five matches. He has done an exceptional job of protecting the defence, with Gareth Southgate’s men yet to concede in the competition.
His performances have shown why he is so highly-rated, and may well have convinced the Hammers that they should pull out all the stops to keep him at the club for as long as possible.
If this means offering Rice a lucrative contract then they may have to accept that, as the alternative option could be losing him to a Premier League rival and watching him enjoy his peak years elsewhere.
There can be little doubt that Rice improves West Ham on the pitch – they lost three of the six league games he missed last season and failed to keep a single clean sheet in those matches. That is why they should seriously consider taking unprecedented steps to tie him down to a long-term deal.