Declan Rice commits future to West Ham as he signs long-term contract until 2024
Declan Rice has pledged his future to West Ham United after signing a long-term contract, the club has announced.
The news was broken on the Hammers’ website on Friday evening and commits the 19-year old to the club until 2024. It follows protracted negotiations that had broken down earlier this month and were thought to have been on hold till the end of the season.
Speaking to whfc.com, Rice said: "I’m absolutely delighted to have got the contract done, signed and to commit my future to the club until 2024. I’m absolutely ecstatic.
"Without a doubt, the plan was always to stay at West Ham. I’ve had the support from the fans, from the players and from the manager and now, to get it done and commit myself to this Club is a very special moment and I’m over the moon.
"I’ve now played 50 games for the first team and I’m progressing week-in, week-out, learning from a top manager and top players. I’m still young, so to put more years on my contract and keep developing here is the best thing for me to do now. With the support of the manager, the players, everyone, it was the right thing to do."
Ireland boss, Mick McCarthy is awaiting a decision from Rice on whether he continues his international career with Ireland or with England, the land of his birth.
McCarthy met the player and his father before Christmas and will be hopeful that, with his club situation now settled, word on his international future will follow. Rice has represented Ireland from U-16 to U-21 level, and won three senior caps in friendlies earlier this year.
Speaking to Sky Sports before Christmas, McCarthy said: "It’s just up to him when he wants to decide. That’s how I’ve left it to be quite honest with you. It’s not my decision as to whether he plays for the Republic of Ireland. It’s only my job if he wants to stay with us, I can pick him.
"He’s a really talented player. He’s a lovely lad. He’s got a really nice family behind him. He’s got everything about him that you’d want him to play for you.
"I’d love to build a team around him. We start in March. That’s my deadline, I need to know by then. He could be a future captain, he’s that type of player."