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'It's out of order' - Carragher defends Declan Rice's contract stance

The West Ham youngster has faced criticism for failing to negotiate a new deal at the London Stadium.

FORMER LIVERPOOL DEFENDER Jamie Carragher has jumped to the defence of West Ham United contract rebel Declan Rice.

The 19-year-old is becoming an increasingly prominent figure at the club but has just two years remaining on his current deal at the London Stadium.

Rice has been named West Ham’s Young Player of the Year in each of the last two campaigns and has started each of the Hammers’ last two Premier League games against Everton and Chelsea.

But reports suggest that Rice — who’s currently the subject of an international tug-of-war between England and the Republic of Ireland — has turned down a contract offer worth £12,000-a-week, four times what the teenager currently earns.

West Ham fans have criticised Rice for not accepting the offer but Carragher — who represented Liverpool between 1996 and 2013 — says the youngster is right to hold out for a bigger contract.

“I thought it was a bit out of order from some of the callers saying Rice was getting too big for his boots or he’s got to be careful about this or that,” he told Talksport.

“But to be honest, I look at him and it’s not just Declan Rice, it’s every young player who comes through at a Premier League club or any club always has to be seen to be grateful they’re playing and they can’t just ask for a bit more money.

“If there was a young foreign player signed from abroad there’d be no questions about what they deserve. I felt it when I was playing that because I was a local lad at Liverpool I had to be seen to be grateful.

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“Local players coming through at their football clubs are definitely treated differently financially. This is a lad who could be West Ham’s main man over the next five or six years so I think it’s unfair he gets the criticism for not accepting the first offer he’s given.”

Sky Sports report that West Ham are confident an agreement will be struck to keep Rice beyond the end of his contract, which expires in 2020.

Talks have been ongoing between Rice and the East Londoners since April but amid Manuel Pellegrini’s recent reliance on the player, there is no sign of there being a breakthrough in negotiations.

Rice played the full 90 minutes as West Ham claimed their first home point of the season to end Chelsea’s 100% record in the Premier League following a 0-0 draw last Sunday.

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