By Scott Taylor
Reece Oxford is the latest player to be linked with a move to Anfield. The West Ham defender has impressed for their Under 21 side this season and has attracted interest from the Reds as a result.
Oxford, 15, is yet to sign a professional contract with the club and the Hammers could risk losing their prize asset if he does not sign a new deal. Oxford’s current contract runs out at the end of the season and he could go for a very cheap price.
He is keen to stay with his current side, but talks between the two parties have stalled in recent times, and it is reported that they are all but finished. Last week, reports suggested that West Ham had offered Oxford £5,000-a-week plus a £100,000 signing-on-fee but are refusing to go any higher. The breakdown in talks mean that West Ham could lose their hottest Academy prospect for little compensation fee.
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan is frustrated by how much these young players are bought for, especially after it was the Hammers who made them the talent they are today. He said: “Up until this season you could nick a 15-year-old for about £50,000. I think they are going to change it now and there is going to be some retrospective compensation. So you’ll probably get £250,000.”
The defender captained England’s Under 17 side in the summer and was an unused substitute for Sam Allardyce’s men in their Capital One Cup defeat against Sheffield United . If West Ham lose Oxford, then it would be the second player to leave the club after resfusing to sign a new deal, as central midfielder Ben Sheaf left for London rivals Arsenal.
Sullivan continued his frustration about bigger clubs coming in and getting West Ham’s prospects. “Its a joke that they can just come in and nick your best players for just £250,000. Our academy costs just under £4million a year to run. “If you lose someone for a few hundred thousand quid its nothing when the academy costs £4million to run,” said Sullivan.
The centre-back has often been compared to former Hammer Rio Ferdinand because of his towering height and his style of play on the ball. The 6″3 defender was given this status by many of his coaching staff at the East London side, and if he fulfils what the current QPR has acheived in his career, then Brendan Rodgers’ men could be onto a very good defender to help solve their defensive puzzles.
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