June 25, 2020 / 1:09 PM / 13 days ago

Ngakia among trio of West Ham departures

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - London Stadium, London, Britain - June 20, 2020 West Ham United's Jeremy Ngakia reacts, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Justin Setterfield/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - West Ham United’s 19-year-old defender Jeremy Ngakia will leave the club at the end of the month after rejecting a “significantly improved” new contract, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta, 35, and Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez, 34, will also depart when their contracts expire on June 30.

Academy graduate Ngakia, who debuted for West Ham in a 2–0 defeat by Liverpool in January, has made five starts for David Moyes’ side this year and was on the path to becoming a regular first-team member.

“Jeremy was offered significantly improved terms to reward his breakthrough into the first-team squad this year, along with further contractual enhancements linked to his future progress and success,” West Ham said in a statement.

“However, the player and his representatives declined to accept any of the offers, and also turned down a short-term extension until the end of the current season.”

Zabaleta, who has made 80 appearances for West Ham since arriving on a free transfer from Manchester City in 2017, will depart after three seasons, with an injury preventing him from signing a short-term extension until this season’s end.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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