Noel Whelan has urged West Ham to let Jeremy Ngakia leave the club on a free if he is not willing to accept their contract offer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and Coventry striker insists the Hammers should not be willing to compromise with the 19-year-old over the terms of a new deal.
With the speedy right-back set to be out of contract this summer, the Daily Mail report that he has turned down a £5,000-a-week contract and demanded a deal worth four-times the Hammers’ offer.
Whelan does not believe the Hammers should negotiate with the teenager any longer, insisting that he has not shown the right character to be a West Ham player.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I think West Ham would probably be laughing at that quite frankly. That’s not the sort of character they want, they want people that want to play for the club, not hold them to ransom.
“He needs to get off his high horse and if he wants that sort of money he’s got to put in performances for two, three seasons.
“Right now people are just happy to be given the chance to have a job. You’d think he’d be a little bit more thankful to the club that they’ve brought him through and given him the opportunity but it just goes to show the lack of respect that some players have for the club that’s done a lot for them.
“You don’t want that in the household, for me I’d just let him go, if he wants to go and get 20 grand somewhere else, good luck to the fella.”
Ngakia has been David Moyes’ third-choice right-back this season with Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks ahead of him in the pecking order.
He has played just four times for the senior side, including starts in the club’s last three Premier League games.
In other West Ham news, Celtic have been tipped to pull off a bargain raid from the Irons this summer.