West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta wants to see team-mate Declan Rice handed a new deal, The Guardian reports.

Rice’s contract situation is the subject of much media speculation at the moment.

The 19-year-old has been in negotiations over a new deal for a while but the two parties are apart in their estimations.

Rice for West Ham

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 23: Eden Hazard of Chelsea is tackled by Declan Rice of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea FC at London Stadium on September 23, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Both Zabaleta and Rice have been recalled for the last two West Ham games. These have yielded four points with a win away at Everton and a 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea.

Rice has played an integral role in Manuel Pellegrini’s new 4-3-3 system. The Republic of Ireland international, who is also being courted by England, sits in front of the back four as a holding midfielder.

He has earned rave reviews for his last two displays

Rice’s contract discussions

Various news outlets are reporting different contract offers.

 

The Guardian reports that Rice turned down a £15k-per-week offer. Meanwhile, Football.London journalist Sam Inkersole believes the offer is £18k-per-week plus bonuses.

But the Daily Mail have weighed in with a report claiming that the offer was as low as £12k-per-week.

The club and Rice seem to be at an impasse in negotiations but Zabaleta wants this sorted out.

Zabaleta on Rice

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 16: Pablo Zabaleta and Declan Rice of West Ham United in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and West Ham United at Goodison Park on September 16, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Zabaleta has urged the club to hand Rice a new deal. The former Argentina international believes the talented teenager has the potential to become one of West Ham’s “greatest players”.

He said: “He is young and still has room for improvement for sure. But he has the right ability and attitude to become one of the greatest players for West Ham.

“He is in the last year of his contract so West Ham need to think about his situation because, even though he is young, he looks so mature and is proving he can perform for the team.

“He is one of those young players you like to look after and help with all the information you can give him.”

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