West Ham United are treating Vladimir Coufal like an “18-year-old” when it comes to their negotiations over a new contract, according to Noel Whelan.
The right-back joined the Hammers last summer from Slavia Prague for around £5.4m. He reunited with his former teammate Tomas Soucek, who joined the Londoners on a permanent deal last summer.
The Czech Republic international played 34 times for West Ham last term as he enjoyed a really fruitful debut season in the Premier League.
Coufal was one of David Moyes’ best players last term as the Hammers finished sixth in the top flight to secure a spot in the Europa League.
West Ham are keen to tie the defender down to a new contract. Sky Sports reported earlier this week that Coufal is frustrated as the club are trying to base his new deal on performance-based incentives.
As a result, Coufal feels as though his showings last season for West Ham are not being rewarded.
Since this report has emerged, Whelan has spoken about the situation with Football Insider. He said that he is “not surprised” that Coufal is disappointed:
“I don’t think that’s right. Look at last year with his performances and what he brought to the side.
“I think you start throwing in incentives when kids are coming through and signing their first professional form. This, to me, doesn’t seem right.
“If he is a big player and he’s that important to you, then you put the money down straight away.
“It’s a very simple signing of a contract: ‘It’s what you deserve for what you put in last season. We don’t want to lose you and we want to show you your worth.’
“That comes down to a lump sum that you’re going to be getting each week. Not really on incentives because he’s part of a team that got you into Europe.
“He drove you there so well last season with some assists too. I’m not surprised he’s very disappointed.
“They are taking a risk in putting a contract in front of somebody like that with incentives. It’s what you would do with an 18 or 19-year-old.”