By Jonty Banks

16th Mar, 2023 | 11:10am

West Ham United contract talks put on back burner while Premier League status uncertain - ExWHUEmployee

West Ham United have postponed contract talks with several first-team players until the end of the season when the club’s Premier League future is confirmed, according to ExWHUEmployee.

The report shared (16 March) that the club have held “preliminary talks” with defender Ben Johnson – who will enter the final year of his contract in the summer – but will wait until the end of the season to finalise details of a potential extension.

Meanwhile, Tomas Soucek’s future remains uncertain, with the club yet to decide whether to extend the Czech’s contract at the London Stadium.

Several other members of David Moyes’ squad, including Angelo Ogbonna and Manuel Lanzini, also see their deals expire in the summer and are yet to be resolved.

ExWHUEmployee wrote:” The current league position gives an uncertain future at present, with no guarantee of Premier League football next season as yet, so the club are putting all talks on hold until the summer as a precautionary measure, along with other decisions for the year ahead, including budgeting and transfer dealings.”

Changes needed

If West Ham do manage to confirm their Premier League status for next season – which still very much remains in doubt – a raft of changes are likely to be on the cards.

Several players have fallen well below par for Moyes this season, and unless they can kickstart their seasons into gear with a late flourish, they have to be put on the summer chopping block in order to revamp the squad.

Soucek has been a shadow of his former self in the midfield beside Declan Rice, while Lanzini has only amassed 144 minutes of Premier League action this term.

These two players seem the most likely to be given the axe, while Ogbonna’s future would hinge on the club’s ability to bring in a ready-made replacement.

After letting Craig Dawson leave for Wolves in the January transfer window, West Ham United are understaffed in defence and can’t afford to lose another body ideally.