Declan Rice appears to be on the verge of leaving West Ham United, with both Arsenal and Manchester City expressing strong interest in signing the English midfielder during the upcoming summer transfer window.
According to reports, Arsenal has identified Rice as their main target and is eager to strengthen their midfield options under manager Mikel Arteta.
The 24-year-old will enter the final year of his contract at West Ham at the end of the month, but the club has the option to extend his deal by another year if they choose to do so.
Although Manchester City’s bid doesn’t initially seem significantly higher than Arsenal’s latest offer of £75 million plus £15 million in add-ons, sources suggest that City has offered more money upfront and in fewer installments compared to their North London rivals.
Despite this, West Ham has rejected City’s offer and is still holding out for a £100 million transfer fee for Rice.
Reports indicate that Manchester City has officially submitted their first formal offer to West Ham for Rice, with a total package worth £90 million.
The offer includes £80 million upfront and an additional £10 million in add-ons, which is the same amount that Arsenal offered in their second bid, also rejected by West Ham.
Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, recently spoke about Rice, refusing to comment on the £100 million fee demanded by West Ham.
Meanwhile, Manchester City has reportedly made it clear that they will only make an official bid if Rice gives them assurances that he wants to join their club.
However, despite Manchester City’s interest, it is understood that Arsenal holds the advantage in signing Rice if they meet West Ham’s £100 million valuation.
Rumors of Manchester City’s bid for Rice are premature, but an offer is expected soon, as is a third bid from Arsenal.
Manchester City remains confident about reaching an agreement with West Ham for Rice, according to football transfers expert Gianluca Di Marzio.
Meanwhile, Manchester City is also preparing a bid to sign Rice, adding to the competition Arsenal faces in securing the midfielder’s signature.
Chelsea has reportedly asked West Ham to delay their decision on selling Rice until later in the transfer window, as they hope to sell players themselves to secure enough funds for a bid.
However, it is Arsenal who is believed to be leading the race for Rice’s signature, with mutual admiration between the player and manager Mikel Arteta.
Despite talks with Bayern Munich, Rice is reportedly reluctant to leave England this summer, giving Arsenal the advantage in the race to sign him.
However, Bayern Munich has not completely ruled out the possibility of pursuing a deal for Rice, and their interest could potentially complicate Arsenal’s pursuit.
West Ham chairman David Sullivan has confirmed that Rice has likely played his last game for the club and that they will need to find a replacement.
Arsenal is confident in their offer for Rice, but the final decision may rest with the player himself, who has attracted interest from other top European clubs such as Bayern Munich and Manchester United.
As Arsenal prepares an offer for Rice, they are also dealing with the potential departure of Granit Xhaka, who looks set to leave the club.
Arsenal’s current transfer record is £72 million for Nicolas Pepe, but they are reportedly willing to surpass that amount to secure Rice’s services.
Mikel Arteta plans to have face-to-face talks with Rice once the season ends, and he is increasingly confident that he can convince the midfielder to join Arsenal.
The Gunners see Rice as their priority target and believe they have an advantage over Chelsea and Manchester United in securing his signature.
There is optimism at Arsenal that they will sign Rice, but the final price tag is yet to be determined.
The valuations of other young midfielders such as Enzo Fernandez, Jude Bellingham, and Moises Caicedo will likely be considered