West Ham have tied Declan Rice down to a new long-term contract.
The 19-year-old has been one of the Hammers’ standout players in a defensive midfield role this season, making 19 appearances in all competitions.
There has been intense speculation over his future in recent months, as his previous deal was due to expire in 2020.
However, he has now handed the club a major boost by committing his long-term future to the Londoners.
The new deal ties Rice to West Ham until 2024, with the club also retaining an option to extend it for a further year.
It is understood to be worth around £30,000-per-week, plus bonuses – a huge increase on his previous contract.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have got the contract done, signed and to commit my future to the club until 2024. I’m absolutely ecstatic”, the teenager told the club’s official website.
“Without a doubt, the plan was always to stay at West Ham. I’ve had the support from the fans, from the players and from the manager and now, to get it done and commit myself to this club is a very special moment and I’m over the moon.
“I’ve now played 50 games for the first team and I’m progressing week-in, week-out, learning from a top manager and top players.
“I’m still young, so to put more years on my contract and keep developing here is the best thing for me to do now. With the support of the manager, the players, everyone, it was the right thing to do.”
On Thursday night, Rice produced another outstanding performance in front of the defence as the Hammers defeated Southampton 2-1 to move up to ninth in the Premier League.
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West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan said: “Signing Declan to a new long-term contract is something we have been planning for and working round the clock on and I, the board, the manager and Declan himself are all very happy that everything has now been completed.
“Finalising contracts takes time but it has always been our intention to keep our best players – particularly those who have come through our academy – at West Ham United and build our club for the future.
“I finalised the deal on Christmas Day and have been working to get the paperwork done as quickly as possible and I’d especially like to thank club secretary Andrew Pincher, one of our great unsung heroes, for working with me through Christmas to get this over the line.”
“I’d also like to give a special mention to academy director, Terry Westley, who has been instrumental in working with Declan over the years to develop and nurture his talent.
“Declan’s new contract comes hot on the heels of Mark Noble also extending his stay at the club. That news, along with the outstanding form of the team and the increase to a 60,000 capacity at London Stadium are all signs that we are moving in the right direction.”