Arsenal will have to overcome potential complications in order to complete a deal to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, according to journalist Dean Jones.
What’s the latest transfer news involving Declan Rice?
As per Sky Sports News, West Ham would be willing to let Declan Rice go to a Champions League club if they receive a bid totalling £120 million.
The report also states that the Hammers would be open to letting Rice leave in a player-plus-cash deal worth £100 million, with Arsenal said to be his ‘most likely destination’. However, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are also keen on the England international.
Rice has a contract until June 2024 at the London Stadium; nevertheless, West Ham will look to activate an option in his agreement to extend his deal until 2025, protecting themselves in the transfer market and maximising his value, as cited by The Daily Mail.
West Ham feel that they will have to sanction his departure in the off-season as Rice is believed to be ‘ready to leave to compete for the biggest trophies’.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano shared some quotes from David Moyes surrounding Rice’s future on Twitter, stating: “Declan Rice is probably the best English midfielder around. Also, that’s why Declan is going to be very expensive if/when clubs come calling.”
Writing in his column for GIVEMESPORT, Jones has given some insight into Arsenal’s pursuit of Rice and some permutations of any prospective deal.
Jones suggested: “We begin with Arsenal, as this is where the primary interest lies and it is true that Rice has indicated to people close to him that he would be very interested in such a proposal.
“Their current transfer record is the £72million spent on Nicolas Pepe and there is certainly caution about how far they push the bar in any negotiations they have this summer on the transfer front in terms of fees.
“In theory the idea of being able to throw players into the mix should be a good thing. The problem may lie in the fact that West Ham may not see too many options that could help them out if Rice leaves.
“The Hammers do have some interest in the in-form Folarin Balogun, who has 19 goals in 35 games for Stade Reims this term, so that is one potential name Arsenal could moot as a swap option, but if it is a midfielder the Hammers are looking for it does not seem to be an ideal scenario for the Gunners.”
What have Declan Rice’s stats been like this season?
Rice has enjoyed another strong campaign for West Ham and has featured 44 times for his current employers in all competitions, registering four goals and four assists, as per Transfermarkt.
The 24-year-old has excelled in midfield, obtaining an average match rating of 7.05/10 for his displays, as per WhoScored, making Rice the Hammers’ most consistent performer this term.
As per the same outlet, Rice has also maintained a pass accuracy of 87.6% in the Premier League, demonstrating his ability to exert control in the middle of the park.
Looking ahead, signing the England international would be a coup for Arsenal if they can manage to get a deal over the line to bring him to the Emirates.