By support

2nd Mar, 2017 | 6:31am

West Ham determined to fend off PL rivals for £70,000-a-week ace - report

By Dominic Toner

West Ham are set to offer Michail Antonio a new improved contract, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claim that the Hammers want to reward the 26-year-old for his consistent performances this season.

It is understood they want to secure the future of Antonio and fend off interest from London rivals Chelsea, who are one of the club’s eyeing the versatile ace.

The report details that they are willing to double his existing contract, which would see him earn £70,000-a-week.

Antonio has developed into a crucial player for West Ham since he joined from Nottingham Forest in 2015 for £7million.

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The Englishman has been a key member of Slaven Bilic’s squad and his versatility has been a gift.

He left Forest as a right winger, but played right-back during much of the earlier stages of his West Ham career.

Antonio has been pushed further forward this season due to a shortage of attackers and proved to be very influential, scoring eight goals and supplying five assists in 33 appearances across all competitions.

He has been used as a winger in some matches, while also play as a make-shift centre forward alongside Andy Carroll.

Antonio managed to be the bright spark for the Hammers during a disappointing first half of the season, but his side are now up to ninth in the Premier League table.

In other West Ham transfer news, they are set to battle over a defensive wonderkid.

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