Declan Rice: Star’s value creeps down as Arsenal start final preparations to land major target

Declan Rice, West Ham, May 2023

Transfer insider Ben Jacobs has suggested West Ham’s valuation of Declan Rice is “unrealistic,” as Arsenal are preparing for the pursuit.

Rice has long been seen as a player capable of playing for one of the Premier League’s top clubs. He’s gotten better consistently over six seasons at West Ham.

Over the last few years, it seemed they could give him the chance to play for one of the league’s best sides.

Indeed, their seventh-placed finish last season followed a sixth-placed finish the season prior. They also reached the semi-final of the Europa League, suggesting they were capable of maintaining their good run.

However, things have fallen apart this season. The Hammers have never been too far away from the relegation battle, and while safe now, they’re 14th, and can achieve 12th place at best.

As such, any hopes that Rice will remain with them seem to have faded.

A lot of the league’s big hitters have been linked with him over the past few years. It’s Arsenal who seem to have taken the lead in the race for the Englishman of late.

A recent report suggested the Gunners ‘will make a bid for Rice when the season ends’. While it’s not clear how much that bid will be worth, David Moyes’ side are known to want £120million.

Insider feels Rice will command less than £120million

While West Ham want that figure, they might struggle to get it. Indeed, insider Jacobs has suggested receiving that fee is unlikely to happen, as Arsenal undertake final preparations for their approach.

“With Declan Rice, a lot of the prep is being done internally at Arsenal as they start to understand what they may need to get Rice and what is more gamesmanship on the West Ham side,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

“So, this British transfer record number and David Moyes has even said as large as £120m is, in my opinion, unrealistic from West Ham.”

Indeed, with Rice’s contract up in just over a year’s time, West Ham may have to accept whatever fee Arsenal, or any other side, decide to bid.

“After being extremely firm on keeping him last summer, there has always been an understanding that Rice could depart for the right opportunity, and West Ham have been resigned in many ways to losing Rice,” Jacobs added.

Jacobs explains slipping value

Jacobs also explained the reasons Rice won’t cost as much as West Ham think he should. On top of that, he suggested Enzo Fernandez’s move to Chelsea cannot be used as a barometer for a number of reasons.

“Comparing Rice to Enzo Fernandez is not necessarily apt. Of course, if we’re comparing footballer to footballer, you can make a comparison.” Jacobs said.

“But the situation with Enzo was that he had a sky-high release clause, and Chelsea desperately wanted him.

“Whereas with Declan Rice, he’s got one year plus a one-year extension left on the contract. That affects the valuation, as does Declan Rice wanting to leave West Ham.”

Indeed, whoever does end up with Rice might not see their pockets hit quite as heavily as they might’ve expected.

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