West Ham United are reportedly close to agreeing an extension with veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta.
West Ham will play nine games in six weeks to decide their Premier League fate when the season resumes next week.
Clubs have been permitted to extend the deals of players who are on loan or out of contract at the end of June.
West Ham have done just that with Tomas Soucek.
And West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh claim an extension is close to being agreed with Zabaleta too.
But the Hammers are set to lose new star Jeremy Ngakia.
West Ham to lose Ngakia for the sake of £5k per week
The right-back looks set to leave West Ham at the end of the month after refusing to sign a new deal worth around £5,000 per week.
More shockingly the young defender nurtured by West Ham’s academy and given his big chance on the Premier League stage by David Moyes, has refused to even extend his stay until the end of a season interrupted by the global health crisis.
The 19-year-old right-back was thrown in at the deep end of West Ham’s Premier League relegation battle before the enforced break.
Moyes showed great trust in the youngster, selecting him ahead of veteran Zabaleta. And Ngakia rewarded the Scot with some excellent performances as West Ham slowly improved.
As things stand Ngakia will leave West Ham just two games into the restart.
Zabaleta to get another £300k in wages for extended stay
Moyes hit out at the youngster’s decision in an exclusive interview with The Evening Standard.
The Scot still harbours a small hope he can change the youngster’s mind. Ngakia is said to want £10,000 per week to stay.
As a result some supporters have turned their anger towards owners David Sullivan and David Gold for being cheap.
And the decision to extend Zabaleta’s £75,000 per week contract (Spotrac) for another month will put their stubborness over Ngakia’s demands under the microscope.
Should Zabaleta sign he will pick up an extra £300,000 in wages from West Ham by the end of July.
Zaba wages would cover Ngakia demands for almost an entire season
That would pay for Ngakia’s £10,000 per week salary for 7.5 months, nearly an entire season.
Instead West Ham look set to let him leave and will be left relying on injury-prone flop Ryan Fredericks – who has failed miserably to establish himself at right-back – and injury-prone academy graduate Ben Johnson.
So there is no great planning behind any of this. And down the line more money will undoubtedly be wasted trying to fill what has been a problem position for years.
Some supporters believe the club are right not to bow to the demands of youngsters.
But £10,000 per week is a pittance by Premier League standards. And Ngakia could have been the club’s homegrown right-back for the next five to 10 years or more. That could have saved the club millions in the long run.
Instead West Ham will shell out another month of extortionate wages to a player long past his best through sheer necessity.
West Ham have offered Ngakia £5k per week and he wants £10k. So they are prepared to lose him for the sake of £5k per week.
No wonder fans are disillusioned about the club’s future under the current decision makers at West Ham.