In a move that could potentially shake the very foundations of English football, Sky Sports is reporting that Arsenal have launched a staggering £105m bid for West Ham’s midfield maestro, Declan Rice. This audacious offer, if accepted, would catapult Rice into the history books as the most expensive British player of all time.
The North London giants are pulling out all the stops in their pursuit of Rice, with the proposed deal comprising a hefty £100m upfront, sweetened by an additional £5m in performance-related bonuses. This bid shatters Arsenal’s previous transfer record – the £72m they shelled out for Nicolas Pepe in 2019.
Rice, who has been at the heart of Arsenal’s transfer strategy this summer, is believed to favor a move to the Gunners. This comes despite a substantial £90m bid from reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, which fell short of West Ham’s valuation.
The Hammers have already turned down two previous offers from Arsenal – an initial £80m bid, followed by a club-record £90m proposal. West Ham’s asking price for their star player stands at a cool £120m, but it’s understood that they might be willing to settle for £100m plus a player.
Rice, who led West Ham to their first European trophy in 58 years, is set to leave the club in the close season. West Ham’s chairman, David Sullivan, has confirmed that a gentleman’s agreement will allow Rice to depart, despite a year remaining on his contract.
The 24-year-old, who joined West Ham’s academy from Chelsea, has been a stalwart for the club since his breakthrough season in 2017-18. He took over the captain’s armband following Mark Noble’s retirement last year. Rice has made over 200 appearances for West Ham and has earned 41 caps for England since his international debut in 2019.
As the summer transfer window heats up, all eyes are on Arsenal and West Ham. Will the Gunners’ third time be the charm, or will Rice’s price tag prove too steep? Only time will tell.