Arsenal ‘willing to pay’ £70m for top target but rivals want to ‘fulfil manager’s wish’ and finalise hijack

Arsenal bid for Rice Credit: Alamy
Arsenal bid for Rice Credit: Alamy

According to a German journalist, Arsenal are ‘willing to pay’ £70m for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice amid interest from Man Utd and Bayern Munich.

Rice is being pursued by several clubs ahead of this summer’s transfer window. He is on the market as West Ham are resigned to him leaving before next season.

The midfielder has been one of the standout players in the Premier League over the past few seasons and he is likely to join one of the biggest clubs in Europe next.

The England international has been placed at the top of Arsenal’s transfer wishlist as one of their priorities is to strengthen in midfield.

Bayern Munich have emerged as a potential suitor for Rice as manager Thomas Tuchel is a big admirer of the 24-year-old.

Man Utd are also looking at Rice as they are in ‘serious contention’ for the Hammers standout.

Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg is reporting that Bayern Munich have not yet made an offer for Rice but they are ‘preparing the next steps’.

The club’s hierarchy ‘want to fulfil Tuchel’s wish’ but they first need to decide ‘what to offer in the first round’. The German outfit are also said to be ‘aware that Arsenal should be willing to pay around £70m for Rice’.

A separate report from Roshane Thomas, Laurie Whitwell and Jordan Campbell for The Athletic insists West Ham ‘value Rice at £100m’.

‘His suitors will not secure him on the cheap. West Ham value Rice at £100million and will be reluctant to sanction his departure unless a club meets their asking price.’

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The report added: ‘Rice would bring a level of athleticism and aggression to the Arsenal midfield that they currently lack, but his ability to keep the ball should also not be underplayed.

‘He has flourished in less of a possession-based side at West Ham, where his reading of the game and powerful runs into space stand out. But, at England level, he has to be more of a controlling influence, playing through pressure and finding his attackers amid congested defences.

‘The 24-year-old would be an upgrade on Thomas Partey in Arsenal’s holding role. His physical attributes mean manager Mikel Arteta could play with two attack-minded No 8s, safe in the knowledge he has someone adept at breaking up play and covering large areas of the pitch behind the ball.

‘Adding to the group of English players already at the club in Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah would also help build on the improved connection with the supporters.’

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