Despite their 1-0 loss to Brighton at the Amex last Friday, things have picked up significantly for West Ham since the beginning of the season.
Prior to their defeat away at Brighton, the Hammers picked up brilliant results against Chelsea and Manchester United with the latter falling to a 3-1 defeat when they made the trip to east London.
And at the heart of West Ham’s improvement has arguably been young midfielder Declan Rice, who the club are now struggling to tie down to a new contract.
According to insider @ExWHUemployee, who was speaking on the West Ham Way show, Rice is likely to reject the club’s latest contract offer of £21,000-a-week (rising up to £40,000 including bonuses) in what could prove to be a massive blow to the Premier League outfit.
During the summer, the east London side brought in Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez to improve their midfield, but neither player has looked particularly impressive when playing.
Rather, it has been Rice who manager Pellegrini has turned to, and the Chilean has not been let down by the 19-year-old.
The West Ham youth product has put in confident and reassuring performances versus the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United and looks well on course to becoming a top defensive midfielder in the Premier League.
With the additions of Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko, the Hammers’ overall work during the summer transfer window was good and an indication of the club starting to move in a more positive direction under its current management following a couple of very disappointing seasons both on and off the pitch.
Failing to get Rice to extend his current deal which expires in 2019, though, will send a worrying message and be a step backwards for the club after making good process over the last few months.