West Ham: Irons set for Ben Johnson contract talks
West Ham United are set for contract talks with right-back Ben Johnson, according to Football Insider.
The Lowdown: Talks stalling
The 23-year-old’s current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2024, and the Hammers are keen to tie him down to new terms, offering a six-and-a-half year deal a little under a year ago, which the right-back rejected.
Talks have proven to be difficult, with ExWHUEmployee revealing on the West Ham Way Podcast in December that discussions had been postponed, but the club now appear willing to come back to the negotiating table.
The Latest: Fresh discussions planned
As per Football Insider, the Irons are set to make a new attempt to agree a contract renewal with the defender, who attracted interest from Everton during the January transfer window.
It is claimed that the 23-year-old is highly regarded by David Moyes, so the manager will not want to risk losing him on a free transfer.
The Verdict: Good news
Hailed as ‘brilliant‘ in the past by former West Ham midfielder Trevor Sinclair, Johnson has been a dependable backup option for the Irons this season, making ten appearances in the Premier League, with Vladimir Coufal starting the majority of the games.
However, the latter’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and with no new deal appearing to be on the horizon, Moyes cannot risk allowing another right-back to leave.
The Hammers have been linked with a summer move for Aaron Wan-Bissaka in a deal which could amount to £22m, and given that the Manchester United defender has averaged more tackles (3.32 v 2.07) and interceptions per 90 (2.32 v 0.93) than Johnson over the past year, he should be the first choice if a deal is completed.
That said, the West Ham academy graduate would be a decent rotation option, and at his age he still has plenty of time to develop further, so the aim should be to agree a new deal as soon as possible.