By Joe Ellis

12th May, 2022 | 2:25pm

West Ham United £200k per week deal 'just the opening salvo' for Declan Rice

West Ham United are willing to significantly increase their contract offer to Declan Rice if the vice-captain rejects their latest approach.

According to Claret and Hugh, the Hammers’ offer of £200,000 per week for eight years [Jim White on talkSPORT, 11 May 10:50 am] is “just the opening salvo,” and they “will up their offer” to keep the 23-year-old at the London Stadium.

The next offer, should Rice not sign this one, is expected to be an increase of £50,000 per week to reach a quarter of a million pounds and extending of the same eight years to a total in wages of £104million.

If Rice still rejects that deal, Claret and Hugh believe it could take £300,000 per week, totalling £124.8million in wages, to keep him at the football club and that the Irons might be willing to pay that much with how important he is to the side.

The contract is likely to include a release clause of some fashion so he isn’t necessarily going to stay for the duration of his deal but there will be another offer to come from the Hammers, for sure.

Step back

While Rice is our best player by some distance when all is said and done, we have to be careful not to completely ruin the dynamic of the club just for one player.

If we do offer £300,000 per week and he signs on that dotted line, David Moyes and the club’s owners can expect every other player to come knocking on their door wanting a similar pay rise.

They would have to admit defeat in some cases and offer them what they want and those who don’t get their wishes will start kicking off.

A disgruntled dressing room is a manager’s worst nightmare and Moyes will find it very tough to turn things around once the divide is set in stone.

West Ham do need to keep Rice if they can but there is no reason to suddenly spend so much cash on one player when they could use the transfer fee they get for him to improve the entire squad and challenge on all fronts next season.

In other West Ham news, David Sullivan is set to offer £33million to another businessman to complete the takeover of an EFL club.