According to Football London, West Ham United right-back Jeremy Ngakia has rejected the club’s new contract and is set to leave at the end of next month for free.
The 19-year-old is currently on a scholarship deal, and the Hammers were looking to extend it in order to have time to further arrange a permanent and professional contract for him.
However, Ngakia wants a long-term deal on improved wages immediately, rather than an extension of his scholarship deal, and his decision has angered senior figures at the club.
West Ham were advised in late January to get Jeremy Ngakia tied down to a new deal, not long after his debut vs Liverpool. Told that senior figures are angry at the rejection. https://t.co/eogPWXGbyH
— Sam Inkersole (@Sam_InkersoleTM) May 22, 2020
The teenager has only played four games for West Ham after injuries forced boss David Moyes to hand him a spot in the starting XI against Liverpool in January, and his performances have attracted other clubs who are now monitoring his contract situation.
Ngakia moved to join the Hammers at the age of 14, and was part of the under-17 team that beat Gamba Osaka in the final of the J-League Club Challenge title in 2017.
He ended up making 17 appearances for the under-18s, signing a scholarship deal in the summer of the 2016-17 season and becoming an under-23s player the next season.
West Ham were told to move quickly and tie Ngakia down to a long-term contract towards the end of last year after it emerged that he could look to move on unless he was offered a professional deal, but they were willing to wait till he made his first-team debut.
That decision could now prove very costly, and they will only get a compensation if he joins another English club and nothing if he moves abroad.