Arsenal are insisting on signing West Ham captain Declan Rice and have made him their ‘main priority’, though a report has detailed how Man Utd can hijack the move.
Rice, 24, is expected to leave West Ham this summer. The England international wishes to lift the game’s biggest honours and regularly compete in the Champions League. Try as they might, they are not demands the Hammers can readily satisfy.
Manager David Moyes recently admitted there’s a “good chance” he loses his star midfielder at season’s end. Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea are understood to be the clubs showing the greatest interest.
Indeed, the Times recently reported Arsenal have given Mikel Arteta the greenlight to sign Rice and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo in a £170m double coup.
If one or both are signed, they’ll replace Granit Xhaka who is bound for a return to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen.
Providing an update on Arsenal’s chase, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted the Gunners “will insist on Declan Rice deal”.
Romano added Rice is Arsenal’s “main priority” in the summer transfer window and they’re waiting on West Ham to verbalise a price tag before launching a bid.
Varying valuations have been touted alongside Rice, with figures in the range of £80m-£120m all cited. The bottom end of that range would obviously require significant add-ons or the inclusion of a suitable makeweight.
To that end, the Daily Mail bring news of a potential advantage Man Utd have in the race for Rice.
West Ham open to Scott McTominay inclusion
The newspaper label Man Utd ‘firm admirers’ and the Red Devils could use West Ham’s interest in Scott McTominay to help seal a deal.
The 26-year-old Scotland international would represent a readymade replacement for Rice at West Ham. His inclusion in a deal would provide Moyes with an instant successor, allowing the manager to channel the fee they’ll also receive into signings in other departments of his squad.
Adding weight to that version of events is the Mail’s claim ‘West Ham would consider [McTominay] as part of a £120m package’.
The Manchester Evening News claimed Rice could leave United this summer if bids of around £30m are lodged.
Putting two and two together, United would therefore have to bid around £90m plus include McTominay to snatch Rice from Arsenal’s grasp.
The Mail concluded Arsenal remain ‘favourites’ for the time being, though concerns are growing over how much the deal will cost. Unfortunately for the Gunners, there’s no indication Arsenal have a player West Ham would consider as a sweetener.
Man City were also mentioned as a potential suitor, though they reportedly harbour concerns Rice and Rodri would not mesh well in the engine room.