Given the more recent reports of three bids coming in from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side for West Ham midfielder and skipper Declan Rice, with those being quickly rebuffed, news reports quickly pivoted to Manchester City and Pep Guardiola as also having a strong interest in the 24 year old England international.
Even though owner David Sullivan has admitted previously that Rice will “99%” be departing the club summer having led us to Europa Conference League success over Fiorentina a few weeks ago, it seems we are determined to absolutely maximise the fee in our favour, and having turned down an offer worth a reported £90 million from Arsenal, it is now being claimed that we rejected City’s opening gambit of £90 million on Tuesday afternoon as well.
It seems West Ham are reportedly holding out for at least £100 million, but they are also expecting a more prompt payment schedule so we can more quickly reinvest Rice’s transfer fee into improving the over all strength and depth of the entire squad.
It is believed Arsenal last offer was in the region of an initial £75 million fee that was to be spread over four separate payments, with a further £15 million in potential add ons, and City are said to have slightly improved on that by making it an initial £80 million payment, with only £10 million in performance related bonuses, but it obviously still falls short of the sum and payment schedule that we are interested in achieving here.
Rice is obviously contracted up at the London Stadium until the summer of 2024, and we of course, do still hold a further 12 month option on top of that owing to the terms of his last contract with us, so we remain in a very strong bargaining position here and at least from our point of view, given his service so far, Rice does not seem like the kind of player who would throw his toys out of the pram if we continue to play hardball.
I would imagine Rice is fully aware of the magic number that needs to be met, and given how early it is in the transfer window in reality, sadly it will ultimately be met I feel.
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