West Ham must put a stop to tiresome and damaging Reece Oxford sideshow

West Ham's Reece Oxford

A bid from Manchester City has reignited the Reece Oxford sideshow at West Ham United and it is threatening to dampen spirits ahead of the new season.

West Ham's Reece Oxford poses for a picture with fans as he holds the Under 21 Premier League trophyWest Ham's Reece Oxford poses for a picture with fans

The Hammers recorded their best ever Premier League points total last season and a first positive goal difference since 1986 as they finished seventh, just outside the Champions League places.

The signs look good for the future too with the campaign also notable for the emergence of the club's youngest ever player Reece Oxford.

The supremely talented teenager made his debut with a midfield masterclass in a 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates in the opening game of the season aged just 16.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic and Reece Oxford as he is substitutedWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic and Reece Oxford as he is substituted

Bilic was keen to protect his young charge

But after that he was used sparingly by manager Slaven Bilic who was keen to protect his young charge.

Speculation has been rife over the 6ft 5 teenager's future for the last few months with reports in the likes of the Mirror that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was keen on securing his signature.

Talk then turned to a potential loan move to relegated Newcastle United in the Championship before claims Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig wanted to make him their marquee signing after their promotion to the German top flight, as reported by Sky Sports.

West Ham's Reece Oxford on the substitutes benchWest Ham's Reece Oxford on the substitutes bench

Oxford contract refusal leaves Hammers in predicament

Now mega rich Manchester City, led by Pep Guardiola, have reportedly bid £15 million for the young Hammer, as reported by Sky Sports.

The speculation has been allowed to continue because of Oxford's refusal to sign a new long-term deal at the club.

That leaves Slaven Bilic in a predicament as the club could lose him for next to nothing.

The Hammers appear to be doing everything in the power to convince Oxford he has a clear path to the first team this season, even selling popular homegrown Hammer James Tomkins to Crystal Palace for £10m.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola poses after the press conferenceManchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Guardiola knows what he would be getting

And City know exactly what they would be getting too make no mistake about that.

Oxford is a future England star and captain in waiting and is the brightest prospect of another good crop of youngsters from the West Ham Academy's production line.

He would be an absolute steal at £15m and should West Ham lose him it would be a bitter blow. But what is his motivation?

If it is first team football then surely he will be less likely to achieve that at the Etihad even if there is the temptation of working with Guardiola.

West Ham's Reece OxfordReece Oxford

Either way the circus must stop

It is already dampening the excitement of the club's big move to the 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium this summer and losing two homegrown stars in such an important summer would send out the wrong message.

Whether the Hammers need to offer Oxford the kind of contract and assurances he demands or take the money, the circus needs to stop.

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch