Reece Oxford has rejected a fresh contract offer from West Ham United which is likely to alert Manchester United and Arsenal, who are keen on signing the defender. The England U19 international has come through the youth ranks at the club and they are keen to keep out of the clutches of the big guns after he put in some impressive performances during the 2015/16 campaign.
According to Sky Sports, the defender, who can also operate as a defensive midfielder, has rejected to extend his current contract which runs until the summer of 2018. This could see him being subjected to summer bids from interested clubs. The Hammers will reportedly demand a minimum of £10m ($14.4m) to let him depart in the summer.
Oxford is highly-rated at the club after coming through the youth setup and is widely regarded as the next best defender following the emergence of Rio Ferdinand in the late 90s. The club are entering a new era following their departure from Upton Park at the end of this season and will hope to keep their best players at the club when they start next campaign at the Olympic stadium.
The 17-year-old versatile defender will spark a scramble among top clubs, and being a homegrown player will be an added bonus to the teams chasing his signature. Oxford has struggled for first-team football after a strong start to the season and his lack of game time could be the reason for rejecting a new deal.
He started five of the first six games of the season in all competitions, but made just six appearances in the Premier League and FA Cup since last August and this could be the reason for him looking for a move away. Oxford is unlikely to get regular first-team football with any of the top clubs, but his performances for the Hammers does make him a top prospect for the future.