West Ham have rejected Arsenal’s opening bid for Declan Rice, thought to be worth £80m plus add-ons.
The Gunners’ opening offer would have been paid in slow instalments with a lot of tough contingencies attached to it. West Ham’s valuation of Rice remains £120m but it is understood the club would accept £100m plus a player.
Arsenal remain in talks with West Ham and the expected second bid – when it is submitted – could be worth more than £100m.
They will have to improve the value and structure of their bid significantly if they want to sign the player. Manchester City are also keeping an eye on Rice’s situation.
David Sullivan, West Ham’s chairman, revealed in the wake of the club’s Europa Conference League victory earlier this month that the 24-year-old will be allowed to leave this summer.
Manchester United and Bayern Munich have also held an interest in the England international, who became only the third West Ham captain to lift a major trophy when they beat Fiorentina in Prague.
Rice has two years remaining on his contract but asked whether the Europa Conference League win would be his final act for the club, Sullivan told talkSPORT: “I think it has to be. We promised him he could go.
“He set his heart on going and in due course he has to get on and we have to get a replacement.
“It is not something we wanted to happen. We offered him £200,000 a week 18 months ago and he turned it down. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.
“I think the offers will start to come. Three or four clubs have shown interest but out of respect to West Ham, while we’re still playing, you don’t make offers for players.”
‘My future is up to the people above’
Rice declared his love for West Ham following the victory in Prague but admitted he does not know whether he will still be at the club next season.
“I’ve still got two years left,” Rice told Sky Sports News.
“There’s so much speculation – I see it all the time – but I can’t help that. That comes with playing football every day and doing what I do.
“My focus, and it has been since the World Cup, is to win this trophy and keep West Ham in the Premier League.”
He added: “I genuinely don’t know what’s happening at the minute. That is my honest answer.
“To read it myself [the speculation], it’s actually getting quite boring. Who knows what is going to happen? It’s flattering to be wanted by a lot of clubs but the badge on my chest is West Ham.
“I’ve still got two years left on my contract and ultimately it is up to the people above.”
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