Alex Bruce has warned West Ham youngster Jeremy Ngakia he may not be able to get the sort of contract deal he is said to be looking for due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The former Premier League defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes clubs will be unwilling to offer big-money deals due to the financial impact caused by the suspension of football.
With the 19-year-old set to be out of contract this summer, the Daily Mail report he has turned down a one-year, £5,000-a-week deal and is demanding a long-term, £20,000-a-week deal.
However, Bruce has warned the young right-back, who has played just four times for the Hammers’ senior side, that he will struggle to find a club willing to splash the cash on a lucrative contract.
Bruce told Football Insider: “I think with the Coronavirus and with everything that’s happened, I think it will help clubs from being held to ransom over contracts like in this [Ngakia] situation.
“I’d be surprised if clubs, for a short amount of time anyway, are going to start handing out ridiculous contracts with everything that’s happened.
“Everything’s changed – I think for the massive clubs who have got huge and vast amounts of money coming in no matter what, it’s a little bit different for the lesser clubs. Everything changes because of the situation.”
Ngakia, who made his debut against Liverpool earlier this season, played in all three of the Hammers’ last three Premier League games prior to the top-flight shutdown.
He was given his chance by David Moyes as a result of injuries to both Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks.
In other West Ham news, the Irons have been tipped to sign a player with a house next to the training ground.