West Ham manager David Moyes admits Jeremy Ngakia's decision to reject a new contract is a blow.
Ngakia, 19, who was handed his Premier League debut by Moyes in January and who subsequently made three more senior appearances, has turned down a new offer, reputed to be worth around £5,000 a week, and will not sign a temporary extension to the end of this season.
“We are really surprised and disappointed that Jeremy is not going to stay at West Ham," admitted Moyes to the London Evening Standard. “We like him a lot, we've given him his debut and I'm a manager who has done that many times in my career, including Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley, Jordan Pickford and others.
“Jeremy is another one and I feel he is making a mistake choosing not to stay with us. We've trusted him in big games and everyone likes him at the club.
“I also feel it's a kick in the teeth for the academy, because they have developed a player for the first team and he's not going to stay. We're also really disappointed with his decision not to stay beyond June 30.
"I don't agree with that and I also think it's something the Premier League should not allow to happen, because it means the season is not starting and finishing in the same way.
"There's nothing we can do about that, though, and we are still working with him. We like him, we want him to feel he's been given the best service we can give and maybe there's still a little hope that we can change his mind."
Clubs have until June 23 to agree short-term deals for players whose contracts are due to expire at the end of the month and Moyes added: “We haven't given up all hope of Jeremy realising he has got it wrong, but I have to say he has told me directly that it is not his choice to stay."