By Harvey Byrne
West Ham have placed an £18million price tag on starlet defender Reece Oxford, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claims that Hammers have made the massive valuation of the 17-year-old due to strong interest from a number of Premier League clubs, including Manchester City and Manchester United.
It was also reported by The Sun that scouts from Tottenham watched defender play for England Under-19s against Holland in the European Championships this summer.
The England Under-19 international is understood to currently be involved in a contractual stand-off with the east London side and it is believed that Oxford’s side believe that his salary should reflect his new valuation.
Newly promoted Bundesliga club Red Bull Leipzig have made a bid worth £10million for Oxford that would have seen the youngster net £20,000-a-week, but the offer was rejected by Hammers chief David Sullivan.
Oxford broke into The Hammers’ first team after starting the first game of last season against Arsenal, winning a man-of-the-match in a combative display that even linked him with a call-up to the senior England side.
He made 12 appearances in total for the East London outfit last season and starred in the England Under-19s side which made the semi-finals of this summers Championships in Germany.
In 2015, Oxford won the Dylan Tombides award, which is given to the star player of the youth academy for that year.
The young star still has three-years left on his current contract deal, so the Hammers aren’t under any pressure to sell Oxford.
Slaven Bilic helped guide West Ham to European qualification last season and will need the full strength of his squad to compete on all fronts, and the manager is desperate to keep hold of his young star.
In other West Ham transfer news, the Hammers have stepped up their pursuit of Juventus striker Simone Zaza after being turned down by Carlos Bacca.