West Ham have confirmed that striker Sonny Perkins has left the club on a free transfer.
The Hammers have issued a statement expressing their anger and surprise at the player and his representatives.
Perkins was offered a professional contract more than once, but he has opted against putting pen to paper.
The club have said the following: “West Ham United can confirm 18-year-old Sonny Perkins has left the Club.
“Perkins, who joined the West Ham United Academy at Under-14 level, rejected the Club’s offers of a professional contract.
“The Club is now entitled to receive compensation from any club Perkins decides to join.
“West Ham United invests millions of pounds annually into its world-renowned Academy of Football – and naturally the Club is extremely disappointed that Sonny has chosen not to continue his development with the Hammers.”
It remains to be seen where the striker is going to go next but there is talk of interest from a number of Premier League clubs, including Leeds, Spurs, and Aston Villa.
Within the statement, the Hammers have accused another club of tapping Perkins up, expressing their disappointment that his head has been turned.
They add: “The Club is disappointed with Perkins’ representatives and strongly believe he was approached to sign for another club which led to him asking to be released from his scholarship at West Ham United.
“West Ham United take this matter very seriously – we believe the rules and structures in place at the Football Association and Premier League should be upheld at all times.
“The Club will be making no further comment.”
Perkins is an England U18 international with six caps and two goals to his name, and he has played for the first-team three times.
He made a total of 53 appearances for the youth teams and scored 19 times and will now be moving to another club, likely in the Premier League.