Danny Murphy has warned ‘ridiculous’ West Ham they could face losing emerging star Declan Rice to a bigger club if they don’t tie the 19-year-old down to a new contract soon.
The defender-cum-midfielder – already in a tug of war between the Republic of Ireland and England – is only under contract with the Hammers until next summer.
Rice was voted West Ham’s Young Player of the Year for the second season in a row last year after making 31 appearances, and the London club are eager to keep him.
However, according to The Sun on Sunday, their offer on the table is miles apart from the players’ expectations, after stepping up from their academy to become a key player in Manuel Pellegrini’s side – being shifted from defence to a defensive midfield role to great effect this season.
It was claimed during the summer West Ham had offered Rice a new contract worth just £8,000-a-week – an improvement on his current £3,000-a-week deal but considerably less than what other first-team players earn at the London Stadium.
Further reports have also claimed several Premier League clubs are considering January bids for the versatile youngster.
And Murphy believes West Ham could end up paying the price for their own stupidity in allowing the starlet’s contract to run into its final year.
“He’s at a good club where he’s playing every week, but I’m amazed West Ham haven’t got him a new contract sorted.
“He’s only got next year left and he’s still on a young man’s contract, playing in the Premier League and dealing with the likes of Eden Hazard.
“Why haven’t they sorted it? This lad hasn’t just come into the first team, he’s been around since last season!
“This is typical of lots of clubs who forget to reward young lads when they’re doing really well – and I don’t mean stupid money, I don’t agree with young lads who aren’t in the first team earning £20,000-a-week.
“But he is on a very low contract, playing at the top level, dealing with some top players and looking very, very accomplished.
“All of a sudden he’s only got next season on his contract and what, West Ham think the big clubs aren’t watching him now?
“Daniel Levy has got critics, but Tottenham’s young players generally get looked after and each time they do well they get rewarded.
“I’m amazed at West Ham, it’s ridiculous for a lad of this talent.
“It shouldn’t have got to this. You can’t let this happen.
“They’ve got a problem now after his last couple of performances. They’ve got a super young player who they haven’t looked after and dealt with.
“Hopefully they deal with it soon.
“He’s probably very happy there and wants to stay, but they have to act quickly because his performances now are taking him to a different level.”