Declan Rice seems certain to depart West Ham United this summer, with Arsenal among the clubs pursuing his services. In what will most likely be his final match with the club, the dynamic midfielder led the Hammers to the Europa Conference League title on Wednesday night in Prague. With the match now complete, offers from multiple teams are now expected to be submitted.
West Ham chairman David Sullivan confirmed on Thursday that Rice will be free to leave assuming the club’s valuation is met. “We promised him he could go,” Sullivan told TalkSport. “He set his heart on going and in due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement. It is not something we wanted to happen.”
“We offered him £200,000 a week 18 months ago and he turned it down. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.”
“I think the offers will start to come today,” continued the club exec. “Three or four clubs have shown interest, but out of respect to West Ham, while we’re still playing, you don’t make offers for players.”
Gunners not far from West Ham’s valuation for Rice
According to The Guardian, West Ham reportedly want at least £100 million ($125 million) for their captain. However, they may not be able to receive this amount. Fellow star midfielder Jude Bellingham recently joined Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund for about $110 million. Although the duo is not the same type of midfielder, they are somewhat similar in value.
Arsenal is the clear frontrunner in the Rice sweepstakes at the moment. The Gunners have been admirers of the England international for some time and will likely soon submit an official bid. Nevertheless, the north London club value Rice closer to £90 million ($112 million).
Arsenal want to complete Declan Rice deal as soon as possible
Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and Newcastle are all supposedly interested in the player as well. Rice is, however, keen to remain in London, which would obviously suit Arsenal. The midfielder also reportedly has respect for Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and even already has friends in the team. These factors make a move to north London fairly likely.
Nevertheless, Arsenal will want to get the deal done as quickly as possible to avoid any issues. The last thing Arteta and company want is a bidding war. $112 million is already a massive fee for one player and the Gunners also have other squad needs as well.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Focus Images
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $12.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo