West Ham to offer in-demand Antonio new deal
The 26-year-old has been a key man for the Hammers this season, eclipsing the efforts of wantaway Dimitri Payet, and will be rewarded with fresh terms
Chelsea are among those to have been linked with Michail Antonio of late, but West Ham are planning to hand the in-form midfielder a new contract.
The 26-year-old has been in dazzling form for the Hammers this season, having a hand in more goals than any other player in Slaven Bilic’s squad.
Why West Ham don’t need Payet
He was particularly inspired in his most recent outing, with three assists seeing him play a leading role in a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
Antonio has eclipsed the efforts of wantaway forward Dimitri Payet, with the Frenchman certainly not missed against the Eagles.
West Ham are, however, aware that a man who has already received call-ups to the England squad is attracting interest from afar and they intend to fend off those admiring glances with fresh terms.
Bilic said ahead of a Saturday showdown with Middlesbrough: “He was very good for us last season and he has continued to do it for us this season and when players are playing like that, at a good age as well, then a lot of clubs – at least in the papers – are interested in them and that puts them in a good position for a new deal.
“He definitely deserves it, so it’s a club decision together with my own but for me he has a big-time green light to sign a new deal with us!
Bilic: Payet departure isn’t inevitable
“The players have deals, but he is the player who came last season to us and he has improved a lot and came from being a player for the future to one who we gave a chance to one of our most important players.”
Antonio was snapped up from Nottingham Forest in 2015 with no Premier League experience to his name.
He has starred among the top-flight elite, though, netting nine times in all competitions last season and adding another eight goals to that tally this term.