Premier League • England

Arsenal to lodge improved Declan Rice bid as midfielder makes preferred side clear amid Man City interest

Declan Rice, West Ham United, May 2023

Arsenal are reportedly set to lodge a bid for Declan Rice that is much closer to the £100million asking price than their initial offer.

Rice is one of the biggest names in the Premier League that’s on the move this summer. After years of transfer rumours, this transfer window is the one in which he’ll make his move.

West Ham chairman David Sullivan confirmed the club “promised him he could go” and will stick to their word.

That came after he lifted the Europa Conference League trophy as captain – a fitting end for his time at the club who turned him into a Premier League star.

Arsenal are the leading contenders for the snare. They’ve been seemingly out in front for months, amid the suggestion that Rice wants to move to the Emirates.

That’s despite reported interest from essentially all of the Premier League’s biggest names.

And while the Gunners have been in the lead for some time, the only side that outperformed them in the league this season are looming.

Indeed, insider David Ornstein has reported – after detailing that they’d sent their first bid – their pursuit could come to nothing, while confirming Manchester City are ‘actively exploring’ a transfer for Rice.

Arsenal set to make second Rice bid

The Guardian are among the outlets to report West Ham turned down Arsenal’s opening bid. That was said to have been worth £80million plus add-ons.

That report states Mikel Arteta’s side will ‘make an improved offer’ for the midfielder, that will ‘come close to matching West Ham’s £100million valuation’.

Indeed, the Hammers seem to be standing firm over that valuation, as they reportedly ‘intend to reject’ bids under £100million.

Arsenal will know the longer they take to come to an agreement the more chance there is of another side swopping for Rice.

With City now lurking, that’s not a chance they’ll want to take, so bidding what West Ham want seems wise so they can get things wrapped up.

Rice remains set on Arsenal move

While it won’t matter too much in the case that Arsenal don’t lodge a suitable bid, it seems Rice would still rather move to the Emirates.

Indeed, The Guardian states he ‘remains set’ on joining them, despite City having joined the pursuit.

It’s a bonus for the Gunners to know they command that sort of respect among big names.

They’ll hope they’re able to get the snare completed soon, as Rice could be a huge factor in them closing the gap to City next season.

READ MORE: Chelsea star greenlights Arsenal move as insider hints ‘flexible’ Blues could lower asking price