Winston Reid looks set for exit on a free as West Ham refuse to budge

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It’s the perennial dilemma: should a club cash in on a player who’s in the last year of his contract and refuses to sign an extension, or cash in and get all they can for the man in question?

And as West Ham continue to struggle to tie down Winston Reid to a long-term deal, the Irons are faced with just that poser.

The New Zealand international has come in for interest from Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others and appears to be keen on a move to a ‘bigger’ club.

He has reportedly asked for a salary increase to something in the region of £80,000 per week, something the Hammers board are not keen on, although there is a sizeable offer on the table for the Kiwi.

So with the defender reluctant to commit his future to the east London club, David Gold and David Sullivan will need to decide whether to let him go on a free, or look to offload him in January.

In all truth, with six months left on his contract by the time the transfer window opens, the fee is unlikely to be much more than a few million and selling him for a nominal amount could do more harm than good.

Reid is the bedrock in the Hammers back-line, and although clean sheets haven’t been as frequent as last season, it is unlikely an adequate replacement would be found over the winter without spending out a hefty chunk.

Sam Allardyce’s side currently sit in seventh place in the table, a position that would earn them around £17m should they be there at the end of the campaign.

But sell Reid for a nominal amount, and fail to replace him with anyone of note, and fall to say 11th place in the table, and that figure drops to £12m.

So with the value of a finishing position outweighing that of the prospective fee for the former Midtjylland man, running his contract down looks the only way forward.

Who knows, qualify for Europe and he may well sign on the dotted line at the end of the season.

If he goes in June, the Hammers have plenty of time to find a replacement, and with promising youngsters Reece Burke and Leo Chambers looking potential Premier League suitors, a short term replacement for Reid may be all that’s required.

The Hammers travel to bottom club Burnley on Saturday, looking to back-to-back wins, a game for which they are priced at 17/10 for victory.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.