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Declan facing devil or the deep blue sea

Declan Rice could soon be approaching – if he’s not already at – that dreadful place between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Talks continue between the club and his advisers continue with an offer on the table of which everybody will take a different view.

The teenager arrived in the first team during a very difficult period when injuries and an uncertain league position piled pressure on him in what is what is a seriously difficult position to hold down at any age – central defence.

After some predictable and entirely understandable uncertainty he did really well and at the end was making international appearances and drawing high praise from his national boss Martin O’Neil.

He is a fine prospect but as we wrote yesterday things have changed this summer in a big way and whether or not he is one of the first names on the team sheet looks doubtful given the new arrivals and Pellegrini’s playing system.

He may also be suffering from the fact that the last time the club rewarded a youngster in a big way was when Reece Oxford received a £20k a week contract – that didn’t work out too well did it?

Declan is a guy whom everybody knows as one of the most pleasant and down to earth around who just wants to be the best.

His academy boss Terry Westley told us on CandH he is not motivated by money – he simply wants to be a player and he loves this club.”

It’s a shame that such a guy with exactly the right attitude finds himself at the centre of what is becoming a bitter financial fight where there is £18k basic on the table and £10k for each appearance in the first team.

His advisers want far more  based on last season’s experience but there is no guarantee that will be repeated by him, or, come to that, any other player in 2018/19.

What this means is that he continues on £3k a week and that if he doesn’t get much game time the current offer could well be reduced once the talking starts again at the turn of the year.

We are told Dec simply wants to do a deal which is what most would expect.

Given the Oxford experience this current offer feels about right although perhaps another £2k on the basic to match his fellow former under 23 might be even more right!

So as we said it’s the devil or the deep blue sea – pick your sides!

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

13 comments on “Declan facing devil or the deep blue sea

  1. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. We need to get over the age thing. If he is good enough which I believe he is, Martin O’Neill believes he is and others believe he is then we should pay him the money. £20000 per week is peanuts compared to what others in our squad are being paid. We should not risk losing this lad.

    • Completely agree with you BigG? P.S.G don’t pay Mbappe peanuts, he’s only 19 but ahead of his age and maturity ? Not saying Declan is as big a star as the aforementioned but he is a full Irish international and ahead of his age and maturity in that same sense? So pay him a “sensible wage” if he’s gonna be trusted by the new management to do a main job in midfield or defence? If not then it’s a case of keeping him in the under 23’s and accessing the situation next season or his agent will force a transfer request requiring the board to act now and that seems to be what’s going on in my opinion ????

  2. One season does not a bumper deal make. If he truly wants a deal done and to focus on his football then might be a good idea to let his agent know. He has much more of a case for parity with established 1st teamers if he continues to develop and produce over the next season. I do not fear losing him, we have a manager who can attract top talent and he needs to be careful not to start thinking he is bigger than he actually is.

  3. I don’t think Oxford is comparable, he had one good game against arsenal in top flight wheats rice has proved himself plenty

  4. Comparing his situation to Oxford is daft, This lad has proven himself in the PL and at International level. Yet we continue to sign other players at £80k a week in the hope that they adapt to the PL. This is penny pinching of the highest order. Give him £25k a week, if we don’t then he will be lured elsewhere. IN a transfer window that shows a certain amount of vision, its not nice to see we haven’t lost the tendency for short term thinking ,

  5. Yes I agree, pay rice the exact same as Oxford. 20k a week. Who wouldn’t want 80 grand a months wages compared to the mere 72 grand a month the club are offering him. Then if he’s not going to play this year, send him on loan to the Bundesliga like they did with Oxford. I’m still not quite sure what happened there to be honest. 16 year old keeping Ozil in his pocket against arsenal. Rave reviews. Not such a good game against the Leicester team that went on to win the title that year sweeping all before them. Next thing you know he’s packing his bags and heading to Germany and Bilic has replaced him with Bilic junior, his pet boy rice. Rice is a talent for his age though we know, as Is Oxford but they shouldn’t get ahead of themselves. Too much money early on can ruin them if they haven’t got the brain cells or people around them to keep them grounded. Look what happened to ravel Morrison.

  6. Give him the contract, we know he has awesome potential. He proved last season that he is already of a high standard, know think how good he will ultimately become with excellent and experienced pros around him and a world class manager.
    This season he might have limited game time but he will ultimately push his way to first choice. We can’t afford to lose this talent. Think Rio, think Cole, Carrick, Lampard etc.
    In the teams they went on to play for, surrounded by the talent we’re now attracting. They became super successful.

  7. If any If these youngsters deserve a chance it’s the ones who’ve been out on loan and proved themselves. If they want to see how to behave just take a look at josh Cullen. If anyone deserves a break he does.

  8. I think 18k + 10k appearance money is better than what Oxford received, for 2k a week if that is what is required, he has new advisors so possibly they are trying to make a statement. If I were them I would say 20k a week plus bonuses and a review at the end of the season or build in some guaranteed pay rises dependant on appearances.

  9. The accursed agents once again causing problems. When will clubs grow a pair and announce that they are not interested in signing any player if an agent becomes involved? The amount we alone have paid out to these parasites over this window would have bought us another decent player. Why are they needed? What useful purpose do they serve? What did players do before agents spawned? If the clubs stood together on this it could be sorted.COYI.

    • I think there is a way to mitigate the damage agents do, not in this particular scenario with a player negotiating for a better deal while in contract but why should a buying club pay an agents fees, I think the selling club should always pay the agent fee, that way the agents if they wanted a player to move would have to negotiate with the selling club and the transfers would also be a lot more transparent, the selling club always holds the power so they can then screw down the agents from profiteering after not doing very much.

    • I think agents do a lot behind the scenes to make sure their clients are happy, looked after etc. It’s about more than just base salary, and players aren’t likely to know how to correctly negotiate, which is an art form. They are also important outlets for players to vent any frustrations to.

      I have no doubt that there are a few bad eggs, like in any industry, but I think it’s a bit unfair to call one-and-all ‘parasites’. You can ask why they get paid so much, but there are many more ‘advisers’ and money makers out there in the world, behind the scenes getting paid a lot more. They’re just front and centre, is all.

      I can’t comment on whether their payments are ‘worth it’, any more than anyone can really say that a football payer is worth £50k per week. Who are we to judge, without all the facts?

  10. I thought 28 grand a week at 19 was more than a sensible wage Dusty. Even if he doesn’t play he gets 18 grand. For a 45 hour week i used to get £6oo and that’s not too long ago. If he keeps raising his game this season then his wages can be adjusted at his seasonal review. The same as others at the club. Let’s at least start at a reasonable bench mark cos his money ain’t gonna go down, that’s for sure. COYI.

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