Arsenal ready to make Declan Rice their second biggest transfer as ‘Bayern plot response’ | Football | Sport


The 24-year-old midfielder is expected to complete a big-money move away from West Ham this summer, ending years of speculation.

He will have the chance to end his Hammers career by lifting the club’s first major trophy since 1980 in Wednesday’s Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina.

Arsenal will be ready to strike after the Prague showdown, with Mikel Arteta identifying Rice as his priority transfer target this summer.

But Sky Germany claim that the Gunners are willing to open up the bidding at around £70million – significantly lower than West Ham’s valuation.

The east Londoners are said to want at least £100m for their star man, either in straight cash or a fee plus players.

Any deal for Rice this summer will likely demand that the successful club smashes their and the British transfer record.

Chelsea set a new record in January by signing Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez for £107m.

A £70m swoop for Rice wouldn’t even make him Arsenal’s most expensive capture. He’d be second on that list behind Nicolas Pepe, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium for £72m in 2019.

But such an advance would almost certainly be rebuffed by West Ham, who won’t hesitate to keep hold of Rice for another season if their price tag isn’t met.

The report adds that Bayern are preparing the next steps in their interest at the wish of Tuchel.

There hasn’t yet been an offer from Bavaria – and there is no agreement with Rice – as the German giants consider their opening proposal.

Manchester United have also been credited with an interest in the England international as Erik ten Hag seeks more midfield reinforcements this summer.

But with Granit Xhaka on the verge of a move to Bayer Leverkusen, Arteta is expected to push Arsenal to ensure they secure his top target ahead of next season.

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