Having trod nearly every Declan Rice to 'name your club' path available and exhausted every aspect of his contract negotiations to the max, the football press and media have changed tack and are now focusing on Jarrod Bowen instead. Suddenly the Hammers left footed forward has become the subject of intense scrutiny, with speculation rife that this organisation and that are 'seriously interested' in bringing the 24 year old to their clubs, Tottingham and Liverpool are among his current suitors according to those 'in the know'.
The arrogance of some clubs' supporters is beyond belief, fed on a diet of financially driven success they have become unable to grasp the fact that yes, they can afford to buy whoever they want, and that they will get their target eventually, but no they can no longer hold 'little' clubs to ransom.
Hammers public stance regarding Declan Rice has probably reset people's opinion about West Ham dropping their trousers for a pound, there is no good reason a young footballer would choose to go to sit on the bench of a club as opposed to do what he is supposed to do, and that is PLAY, unless they are only in it for the money!
One of the reasons West Ham have done so well over the last eighteen months is that David Moyes has built a TEAM, not just a group of individuals and that bond equates to the sum being greater than the content. It is clear to see how the players play for each other and their manager and of course the fans.
The only weapon Hammers have to counter the fiscal vultures is to place a substantial price tag on players that 'are of interest', the club have been reluctant to add release clauses to players contracts in the past but that was then and this is now. Aston Villa learned to their cost, although also to their benefit about release clauses, thinking their £100 Million valuation of Jack Grealish would never be met they were non nonplussed when City stumped up the cash.
With City's ex-head of recruitment now officially on board as director of football at West Ham, expect to see much more 'proaction' when it comes to player contracts and that includes adding realistic release clauses that suit both player and club. Winston Reid has just left the club as part of a 'player reality' clause instigated by Rob Newman during his first week in charge following his enforced gardening leave from City, it is anticipated he will oversee future contract negotiations in conjunction with David Moyes, although technically deals, or at least certain aspects of them, will still need the OK from David Sullivan initially.
There is talk that Newman sees Bowen's value as North of £60 Million, big money for a player signed for £24 Million you may say. It was West Ham who took the risk of bringing Bowen from the championship, for what was a tidy sum, it could have all gone belly up a la Jordan Hugill! Therefore the club deserves to place whatever value they and the player feel he is worth, be it £60 Million or whatever.
Anyways, how much would it cost the club, even if they could find them, to buy two players of the same quality as Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen? We are talking about top players here and don't forget, the club cannot guarantee to keep finding lower league or foreign 'bargains', or on bringing another 'genius' youth player through the ranks.
The answer is they are irreplaceable, of course money talks and if massive offers are received the club have to listen, they are also obligated to keep the players informed of potential 'serious' interest. IF a bid of £100 Million is put in for Declan Rice, or a £60 Million bid put in for Bowen the club would have to make a hard decision, but the longer they resist, the higher the players value will rise.
Every player has a price, but if Hammers do have to sell, it is their duty to make up for past mistakes by asking for top dollar with add ons and sell on clauses, if not the interested clubs should be told to 'jeff off' unless they can stump up the necessary. - Ed