Premier League • England

Arsenal sensationally smash £100m barrier with fresh Declan Rice bid as word given existing midfielder will stay

Declan Rice

Arsenal have become the first club to meet West Ham’s demand of a nine-figure transfer bid for Declan Rice, it has been revealed.

Rice looks almost certain to leave West Ham this summer, rather than enter the final year of his contract. A price tag in the region of £100m has always been the aim for his current employers to receive when selling him.

Therefore, Arsenal’s recent offer of £75m plus £15m in add-ons failed, as did Manchester City’s own package worth £80m plus £10m.

But a new bid has been expected from Arsenal and late on Tuesday night, David Ornstein revealed it had been submitted.

According to The Athletic‘s reporter, Arsenal have now surpassed the nine-figure barrier for Rice. They have put £100m on the table with the lure of £5m more in add-ons.

By making a club-record bid, Arsenal are hoping they will be able to fend off Man City in the transfer battle.

However, The Guardian has updated that West Ham have still initially said no to Arsenal’s new offer. There are doubts from their perspective about the payment structure suggested by their London rivals.

Furthermore, West Ham are expecting Man City to make their own new bid on Wednesday.

That said, the talks with Arsenal are still continuing. As Jacob Steinberg writes, their bid was ‘not rejected out of hand’ yet.

Arsenal are pursuing Rice while preparing to say goodbye to Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey this summer. Indeed, they are trying to evolve their midfield for the long term.

Declan Rice to join Jorginho in Arsenal midfield?

As part of that process, doubts have also emerged about the future of Jorginho, who only joined the club from Chelsea in January.

The Italy international has recently been linked with a return to Serie A. There have been claims he could reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Lazio after working together at Napoli and Chelsea.

But his agent, Joao Santos, has now denied Jorginho is going anywhere.

Santos told TV Play: “Jorginho is very happy with Arsenal who have a very important championship to play. At the beginning of August there is the Community Shield.

“There is no negotiation with Lazio. I don’t know if they have the money to pay the player, but that’s not the question.”

Doubling down on his affirmation that Jorginho will remain at the Emirates Stadium, Santos continued: “He stays really well at Arsenal and in our mind, for the next season, there is only the Gunners.”

Pointing to the positive influence of Mikel Arteta, the agent concluded: “The theme is clear: the project for next year is to stay at Arsenal which can become the most important team in England.

“Coach Arteta is the most important in the Premier League. He understands modern football like no-one else and, obviously, someone like Jorginho goes very well with someone like him.”

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