Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

‘Watch out for Man City…’ Journo tips Declan Rice to reject Arsenal; has been a Guardiola target ‘for weeks’

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Journalist Dean Jones has revealed that Manchester City have been keeping close tabs on Declan Rice ‘for weeks’ and thinks he could join them over Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta has made the West Ham captain his transfer priority as he looks to build on an excellent 2022/23 campaign. But, his old friend Pep Guardiola could ruin his plans.

So far, the Gunners have seen a first bid of £80m for Rice rejected. They quickly made an improved offer – a downpayment of around £75m, paid in four instalments. Bonuses and add-ons would have taken the deal through the £90m mark.

West Ham stood strong, though, and instantly rejected their second approach.

Now, as reported by TEAMtalk, Man City are expected to launch their own concrete offer for Rice in the very near future.

More recent reports suggest the bid will be £75m with £15m in bonuses. But, this will be paid in a period of two-years, rather than Arsenal’s proposal of a four-year timeframe.

So, after beating Arsenal to the Premier League title last year, Man City could potentially pip them to the signing of Rice, too.

READ MORE: Chelsea, Arsenal midfield target gives ‘green light’ to £80m move; official Blues bid ‘on the way’

Rice has been on Man City radar ‘for weeks’

Interestingly, Jones has now claimed that Man City have been planning an approach for Rice for several weeks.

Speaking on the Ranks FC Ultras Podcasthe said: “I was chatting to someone I know who is a good friend of Declan Rice and has known him for a long time.

“A couple of weeks ago we were chatting and he said ‘just watch out for Man City.’ Which I thought was interesting at the time because it was so nailed on that Arsenal would be there.

“If anything happens just watch for Man City because there could be something there yet. For Rice, this is very hard to turn down a treble-winning team with a spot in the team opening up.”

Indeed, Ilkay Gundogan has departed Man City on a free transfer to join Barcelona. He has been a vital player for the Cityzens since 2016. So, it will be a tough task for Guardiola to replace him.

Rice certainly has the ability to do so, though. Last season, he played a huge role as he helped West Ham win the Europa Conference League – the club’s first trophy since 1980.

His performances over the past couple of years have also earned him a regular slot in the England team. Clearly, there is no doubting his quality. Although, he arguably carries less of a goal threat than Gundogan.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if West Ham accept Man City’s offer of £90m (including bonuses) for Rice.

Or, if Arsenal respond quickly with an even better offer for the talented midfielder. For Rice, it looks set to be a very interesting few days.

READ MORE: Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea on red alert as Bayern Munich star eyes PL move; ‘talks held’ with Reds