London Football News

How Covid could affect West Ham’s chances of keeping key players – and Moyes

West Ham have put a hold on contract talks with manager David Moyes and several key players until a clear return date for supporters to the London Stadium is decided, according to reports.

The Daily Mail report that the Hammers will not finalise any contract extensions until the start of 2021 so they can assess the financial losses caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns and tier restrictions.

Sources also claim the club fears public criticism if they are seen to hand out new deals at the same time as the UK households comes to terms with the crippling effects of the pandemic.

Limited numbers of fans were allowed to return to clubs tier one and two this week, with the London Stadium set to welcome 2,000 supporters for their teatime match with Manchester United on Saturday.

But like all Premier League clubs they are likely to continue losing money by opening to just 2,000 fans.

Increases to the limits next year should ease financial concerns, allowing West Ham to complete deals with Moyes and players such as striker Michail Antonio, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and centre-back Fabian Balbuena, who are out of contract in the summer.

Club captain Mark Noble’s deal also expires at the end of the current campaign, while first-choice defender Angelo Ogbonna is out of contract at the end of next season.

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