Declan Rice: West Ham hope to agree new deal with teenager

Declan Rice
Declan Rice is eligible to play for both England and the Republic of Ireland

West Ham hope to agree a new long-term deal with teenager Declan Rice by the end of the year.

The 19-year-old's present deal has an option that means it is not due to expire until 2021.

An improved offer from the Hammers has already been rejected but the club are optimistic they can agree terms.

Rice has previously been used as a defender but manager Manuel Pellegrini has deployed him as a central midfielder in recent games.

Playing in midfield against Everton and Chelsea sparked an upturn in the Hammers' fortunes, after they opened the campaign with four successive Premier League defeats.

His progress is being monitored by some of England's top clubs and he also has his international future to resolve.

Rice is eligible to play for both England and the Republic of Ireland. Born in London but with Irish grandparents, he has previously played in friendly matches and in junior age groups for the Republic but is not committed to them as he is yet to play in a competitive fixture.

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