Shock twist in Declan Rice saga with European giants ‘close’ to signing; Arsenal left red-faced

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Bayern Munich are ‘close’ to securing the signature of in-demand West Ham United captain Declan Rice, according to shock reports.

Arsenal have been considered the favourites to sign the England international for some time. However, the Bundesliga giants have seemingly leapfrogged them in the race.

Indeed, Rice is one of the most sought-after players in Europe at the moment. So, it will be interesting to see if Bayern do beat the competition.

Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel recently had a phone call with Rice, as he attempted to convince him to join his team instead of Arsenal.

Now, it seems those efforts must have paid off, with Bayern edging towards a deal for the West Ham midfielder.

This is according to journalist Jose Felix Diaz (via Metro), who claims Bayern are ‘about to close the signing’ of Rice.

The German side are reportedly willing to pay approximately £85m for the 24-year-old. Interestingly, if true, Rice would become their record signing.

Therefore, the only way for Arsenal to beat Bayern to the midfielder would be to offer a higher transfer fee than Bayern. So, that will be something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.

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Bayern’s move for Rice will anger Arteta

Arsenal have enjoyed a fantastic season. They finished the campaign in second place in the Premier League table – missing out on the title by just five points.

Mikel Arteta is now planning to improve his squad ahead of next season. Indeed, if the manager wants his team to challenge for trophies again, he could certainly do with some quality additions.

However, if Diaz’s report is accurate, Mikel Arteta will not be happy. It’s no secret that the Arsenal manager had made Rice his primary transfer target as he looked to bolster his midfield.

Granit Xhaka is expected to join former club Bayer Leverkusen in the next couple of weeks. As a result, his departure will live a void in the Gunners midfield.

Thomas Partey isn’t getting any younger either, and nor is Jorginho. But now, it seems Arsenal could have to look for alternatives to Rice in the transfer market.

Although, conflicting reports do claim that the Gunners remain firmly in the race for the West Ham star. So, it’s still quite difficult to predict where he will end up.

What seems certain, though, is that Arsenal will have to stump up a higher fee than the £85m Bayern are reportedly willing to pay for Rice this summer.

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