The Hammers are being backed into a very public corner by a two pronged transfer strategy. The ultimate outcome of the tactics would see Declan Rice sign for Arsenal during this transfer window. But make no mistake about it, West Ham must resist the pressure to sell Dec on the cheap.
The two pronged tag-team effort is being led by the Gunners. They seem happy to leak news of their bids two days before the eventual offer arrives. On the other side is team Declan who appear to be briefing their press associates that North London is the only destination they’ll accept.
As a result of these maneuverings, any prospect of an auction is dead in the water. Arsenal seem intent on bidding low and spreading payments but this does not suit West Ham. The club are on UEFA’s watch list for FFP, so we need the bulk of any transfer fee paid over the next 24 months.
Our situation really couldn’t be simpler and Arsenal know it. So why they keep making offers they know will disadvantage West Ham is anyone’s guess. Put simply, £80m paid over five years is £20m per season. It’s not enough.
West Ham must resist Arsenal pressure
It’s an open secret that Arsenal have been in discussions with team Dec for months. According to numerous news stories, Rice has been given assurances by Mikel Arteta.
With all their chess pieces in place, The Gooners feel confident of making derisory offers. I don’t blame Declan for having a chosen destination or putting his family first. I’d probably do the same in such a situation.
However, West Ham have to look after themselves too and they’ll have to play the game. The propaganda war of Arsenal’s leaked bids and Rice’s leaked preferences must be countered.
The Hammers hierarchy should publicly activate Declan’s 2 year option and accept Manchester City’s offer. This would place the ball back in Declan and Arsenal’s court.
Of course Declan would be well within his rights to reject a move to Manchester. In such an event, The Hammers should announce that Rice will be remaining for another season unless the valuation is met.
Declan Rice has been very respectful and I absolutely understand his reasons for leaving. He has been a great servant to West Ham and I’ll be forever grateful for his time at the club. But the pressure is coming from North London because Arsenal don’t want to pay the going rate for the player.
The Gooners are the ones stalling the deal. By constantly finding more inventive ways to spread payments and with add-on’s based on unlikely outcomes. Declan Rice’s price is £100m plus . . . . we’re about to find out quite how badly Arsenal want our captain.
Over to you Arsenal.