More news regarding Declan Rice
The Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is reportedly willing to fork out a club-record fee to sign him
The 24-year-old is expected to leave the London Stadium at the end of the season, with manager David Moyes admitting that there is a “good chance” that he will seek pastures new.
A host of top Premier League clubs including Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City have all been credited with an interest in Rice, as have German giants Bayern Munich.
However, the Gunners are believed to be the front runners for the midfielder’s signature, with manager Mikel Arteta identifying the England international as one of his primary targets ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.
Arsenal are understood to be readying their first big-money bid for Rice, although they do not intend to approach West Ham until the season draws to a close and the Hammers have told ClaretandHugh there have been no bids.
Rice is out of contract at the London Stadium at the end of next season, with West Ham possessing the option to extend his deal by a further 12 months, We are said to be holding out for a fee of at least £100m .
According to The Daily Express, West Ham are playing hardball with Arsenal over the sale of Rice and have referenced the British record signing of Enzo Fernandez at Chelsea, who spent around £107.5m on the midfielder in January, as a gauge to their valuation of Rice.
However, the report adds that Arsenal owner Kroenke is lining up a £92m transfer package to recruit Rice, with the American prepared to pay the majority of the club-record fee upfront.
Arsenal’s current club-record transfer stands at £72m which they spent in 2019 on winger Nicolas Pepe, who is currently on loan at French club Nice and faces an uncertain future at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s move for Rice comes at a time when Granit Xhaka looks increasingly likely to leave the Emirates Stadium, with Bayer Leverkusen allegedly in advanced talks to sign the Switzerland international.
Rice has spent his entire senior career with West Ham, making 243 appearances across all tournaments since his debut in 2017.
He has scored 15 goals and provided 13 assists for the club, including five strikes and four assists in 48 games so far this season.
Rice found the net in Sunday’s 3-1 Premier League home win over Leeds United, which could have been his final match for West Ham at the London Stadium, and the midfielder will be hoping to lead the Hammers to European glory when they face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on June 7.
West Ham may identify Southampton midfielder James Ward Prowse as a possible replacement for Rice this summer.