Reports that Michail Antonio is in discussions to sign a new contract are highly unlikely.
Over the past four or five years, many strikers have tried and failed to provide real competition for Michail Antonio. He has been a key part to the Hammers staying in the Premier League and experiencing European success.
However, the No.9’s contract comes to an end in the Summer of 2024 and a report from Football Insider has stated that he is in talks with West Ham over a new contract. At 33-years-old though, there are a few reasons we are sceptical over these rumours.
Firstly, he only signed as new deal earlier this year which also has an option for the club to extend by a further 12 months. This would take him up to 2026 where he would be 36. It is no secret that his age is already starting have an affect on him, with the striker only scoring two goals in all competitions this season. Whether he would be able to play further than that at the top level is a real doubt.
Secondly, the East London outfit are actively looking for a new striker to bring to the London Stadium. After both Haller and Scamacca signed for more than £30 million, they ultimately failed and moved on shortly after joining. This has left the Hammers in desperate need of someone who can fit Moyes’ style of play. As a result, they have, reportedly, been assessing options such as Giminez and Guirassy to replace Antonio.
Finally, from what has previously been reported, it does not seem like the club are opposed to selling Antonio anyway. There has been interest from Saudi Arabia as well as English teams like Everton. West Ham may see this as their last opportunity to cash in on an ageing player and use the funds to spend on a younger alternative.
From whatever angle you look at it, it simply does not make any sense for West Ham to give Michail Antonio a new contract right now. They hold the upper hand by having the option to extend his contract so they can either keep him or sell him, but that is down to them. The Jamaican clearly loves playing in Claret and Blue so, either way, it is certain he will continue to do everything he can to help the Irons succeed.
By Charlie Bass