It’s imperative that West Ham don’t allow themselves to be pushed around over Declan Rice. In fact The Hammers must play hardball with Arsenal who are looking to sign Rice for a derisory fee.
As mentioned by Hugh in an article this morning, West Ham have only received interest in the form of an inquiry from the Gunners. The pending offer is believed to be in the region of £85M, but that is only two thirds of the fee sought by the Hammers board.
I’m quite sure that there will be more interested clubs as the window proceeds but West Ham must stand firm. Declan is contracted to our club for an additional two years so there is no need to sell him cheaply.
Even with a year left on his contract, Declan would fetch £60+ million. All of Europe’s biggest clubs would be interested at that price, so it really comes down to a simple decision . . . Is it worth taking £85m now, or keeping a world class player for a year and banking £65 million?
The West Ham hierarchy must keep this option in reserve when dealing with Arsenal. It’s quite clear the North London club are confident of landing Dec, but we must not roll over and have our tummy tickled.
Hammers must not be bullied
In short Arsenal must know that West Ham are prepared to walk away from the deal. Whilst there may be a gentleman’s agreement, I’m quite sure Arsenal wasn’t specified when hands were shaken.
It’s hard to know exactly, but the deal was possibly vague and involving a Champions League club. If Arsenal know West Ham are weak then it’s a very poor bargaining position.
The board cannot afford to botch this transfer or be bullied by Arsenal. Our transfer budget is relies on it.