West Ham news: Agbonlahor certain where Declan Rice will be next season after critical update
Gabby Agbonlahor has insisted Declan Rice will still be a West Ham player next season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aston Villa and England attacker claimed there was no reason for the 23-year-old to sign a new contract and the club “hold all the cards”.
His current deal is set to expire in the summer of 2024 and the Irons have the option to extend it by a further 12 months.
Fabrizio Romano reported last week (22 April) that he had rejected a third new contract offer.
As quoted by the Mirror on Monday (25 April), David Moyes suggested the midfielder is holding out for more money.
“The big thing about this is that there’s no reason why he would sign a new deal as he’s got three-and-a-half years left,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“For him, he’s thinking ‘Can I agree a deal with the club to let me go?’ But West Ham hold all the cards.
“The difference with Jack Grealish was there was a release clause. If he didn’t, Aston Villa wouldn’t have sold Grealish.
“There’s no release clause for Rice so West Ham can just not answer the phone all summer. I actually believe he will be there next season.
“They will say to him ‘We’re not ready to sell you’. He’s not the character to throw his toys out of the pram. West Ham are in a good position.
“Rice is probably thinking ‘If I sign a new deal I’m going to be here longer than three years, it’s going to be harder to get out’.
“He’s going to have to get used to playing for West Ham and do his best. He’s still a young lad, he’s not 25, 26 so he’s got time for that move.”