Arsenal ‘fear’ history repeating over top target as £130m ‘bidding war’ takes shape

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Arsenal target Declan Rice puts his thumbs up Credit: Alamy
Arsenal target Declan Rice puts his thumbs up Credit: Alamy

Arsenal are worried that they could lose out on West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the same fashion they missed out on Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea, according to reports.

The Gunners seemed to be in the driving seat to land Mudryk in the January transfer market before Chelsea gazumped them by offering more in wages and a bigger transfer fee.

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Chelsea have spent around £600m over the last two transfer windows on new signings with reports claiming their spending is set to continue into the summer.

West Ham’s Rice has consistently been linked with a move to Arsenal and the Emirates Stadium has been mooted as his ‘most likely destination’ on a number of occasions.

But The Sun claim that Arsenal ‘fear being priced out’ of a deal for Rice with the England international extremely likely to move this summer after making it clear he wants to play Champions League football in the near future.

Just like with Mudryk, the Gunners are ‘convinced the player has his heart set on a move to the Emirates’ with Arsenal ‘hoping to pay around £80m for 24-year-old Rice and offer him a five-year contract worth up to £300,000 a week’.

But ‘there are concerns at the club that history could be about to repeat itself’ with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool ‘very keen’ on Rice.

Arsenal will have the advantage that they can offer Rice Champions League football, unlike Chelsea, but The Sun adds that ‘the Hammers are more than happy to oversee a bidding war which could push the price up to as much as £130m’.

Former Rangers striker Ally McCoist insists he’d be “really concerned” if Rice chose to join Man United this summer with “alarm bells ringing” in recent matches.

McCoist said on talkSPORT: “I’d be really concerned if he’d be going to Manchester United at this moment, I’ve got to be honest. I think they’ve done really, really well.

“I’ve got to say and you’d have to say two Cup finals and won the League Cup. If they could win the FA Cup which they’ll be second favourites to do and finish in the top four I think is a more than acceptable season. I think it’s a really good season.

“However, the last couple of games have just kind of set alarm bells ringing in my head looking at them. I think they’re probably farther away than I actually thought. So I’m not sure he’d be going there.

“Liverpool’s midfield crying out for Declan Rice, absolutely crying out. Chelsea have got an excellent midfield but I don’t know if they’re going to spend that much money.

“I would say wasted money spent the best part a half a billion pounds you’re finishing 12th and 13th that’s not great.

“I’ve got to be brutally honest here. If you’re an Arsenal fan, that’s the move of the season.”

READ MORE: Hello, Goodbye: A Premier League XI who could be on the move again after less than a year

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