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EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal step up Rice chase as West Ham face internal war
Hammers boss David Moyes has been publicly bullish over the type of fee his side wish for the England international, repeatedly stating that a figure of over £100 million will be required to prise the 24-year-old away from the club.
FootballTransfers’ sources, though, have revealed that the price is likely to be under that figure.
There are, however, extensive negotiations required before this deal becomes viable.
How much do West Ham want for Declan Rice?
The complication is that Arsenal are targeting a very different fee from the West Ham board, while there is set to be an internal struggle at the Hammers over the make up of the deal.
FootballTransfers understands that while the hierarchy of the Hammers want a significant up-front cash lump sum for Rice – around £85-95m – manager David Moyes wants a part-exchange deal that would immediately bolster his squad but would not be as lucrative financially.
Among the players who could be traded to the London Stadium club for Rice include Reiss Nelson, Folarin Balogun and Albert Sambi-Lokonga, all of whom are of interest to Moyes ahead of the summer transfer window.
Key for the West Ham board, meanwhile, is the structure of the deal. The more money that Mikel Arteta’s side offer as an advance on Rice’s transfer fee, the more attractive it is to their London rivals.
Arsenal have the advantage of going into these negotiations with their options open. The Gunners have several midfielders on their shortlist ahead of the transfer window and could pivot to target Brighton’s Moises Caicedo instead.
Time is also running out on Rice’s contract. The England man will become a free agent in 2024, at which point he could leave West Ham for nothing. The balance of power is, therefore, with Arsenal in these talks.