By Nick Ware

15th Nov, 2021 | 3:10pm

Kai Corbett confirms West Ham exit after rejecting contract

19-year-old striker Kai Corbett has announced that he has rejected a professional contract at West Ham and left the club.

Corbett rose through the ranks at the East London outfit, also taking in spells at Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona, but failed to break through and make an appearance for the senior side.

His contract with the Irons expired earlier this year and he has recently been on trial with Southampton and Manchester United, coming close to signing for the latter before talks over his transfer collapsed, leaving him at West Ham [HampshireLive].

Corbett has now taken to his personal Instagram profile to confirm his departure from the club and express his gratitude for the years he spent there.

He wrote: “The time has come to confirm that with a heavy heart, I have chosen to leave West Ham United. It wasn’t an easy decision for me to walk away from a professional contract at such a prestigious club. There’s been much speculation and rumours about when and why I made this decision.

“Ultimately I made a decision that I wanted to take some risk and try to prove myself at first-team level as early as possible.

“I will always have a special place in my heart for the club and the fans, and I’ll always be appreciative of the time and effort the coaches and other staff have invested in me and my development over the years. I joined this club as a young boy, and I leave it as a young man.

“I’m really proud to have been a Hammer and I wish the club and everyone involved with it all the best for the future.”

Highly-rated

Corbett’s talent is undeniable, highlighted by the calibre of clubs who have been sniffing around him this year.

Manchester United have clearly spotted something special in him but he was unable to get a move to the Red Devils over the line.

There was no real word said on Corbett’s exit despite his contract seemingly expiring in the summer, and the Irons may well have been biting their tongue to see whether there was a chance he would come back and sign terms on the professional contract they had offered him.

But the teenager has opted to go a different route and search for first-team football.

That’s an admirable approach, and not one taken by many young players who opt for the comforts of the same environment.

Corbett will now be looking to prove himself in senior football and, who knows, he could end up back at the London Stadium again, one way or another.

In other West Ham news, John Terry has shared his one big Irons regret on Twitter.

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