Premier League side Arsenal will not meet West Ham’s asking price for Declan Rice with their first offer, according to reports.
The Gunners are in the market for a new midfielder in the summer with Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu making that position their primary objective.
Rice, who helped West Ham to the Europa Conference League final last night, has emerged at the top of their list ahead of the summer with previous reports indicating the England international would be keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claimed earlier this week that Arsenal will make an “official bid” for Rice in the “next few weeks” as the Gunners look to make their move early.
Football Insider has an update today and insists Arsenal ‘are now pushing to get a deal for the playmaker over the line but will not meet the asking price with their first bid’.
However, the ‘West Ham plan’ is to ‘demand the full £100million fee’ despite Rice’s contract running out in June 2024, although they do have the option to extend it for a further year.
Rice has made it clear that he wants to play Champions League football in the near future and the 24-year-old ‘wants to stay in London as he chooses his next club, with Arsenal the only side in England’s capital that can promise him Champions League football next season’.
Arsenal are not the only club interested in Rice with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool monitoring his situation – but Didi Hamann can’t see the latter splurging half their budget on one player.
“Liverpool probably need to spend nearly £250 million in the summer. If he costs £100 million, plus wages, that’s probably close to half the budget on one player. So it depends how many players they want to bring in because I suspect they need a defender as well, and two or three midfielders.
“Then you see which other areas they want to strengthen. I like Rice, I said a few weeks ago he’s a player that would help Liverpool tremendously, but £100 million is a lot of money.
“It depends how much money they have because MacAllister won’t be cheap either. If you need three, four, five players, to spend half the budget on one player obviously limits your options for the other players you want to bring in.
“I tend to agree with Martin on his point, if he costs £100 million plus, or close to it, it is probably not a player which Arsenal or Liverpool can afford.”
On Man United’s interest in Rice, former striker Dimitar Berbatov recently told Betfred: “Declan Rice is one of the best footballers in his position. He’s a leader for West Ham United and the way he can guard a defence and the way he reads the game, indicates to me that Declan could fit in at Manchester United.
“You need to be careful with who you’re buying and what you’re promising them. Are they going to play? In the case of Declan Rice, if you buy him, then he needs to play. Manchester United have to plan exactly how they’re going to spend their money this summer.”
READ MORE: Big Weekend: Forest v Arsenal, Man City, Patrick Bamford, Sean Dyche, play-offs