With Manchester City making their first formal approach for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice last night, Arsenal now faces direct competition in the pursuit of the England international, but does City really need Declan Rice for such a price?
Late last night, it was announced by journalist David Ornstein that Manchester City had ‘lodged an official bid’ to sign West Ham United star Declan Rice in an offer that consisted of £80 million over 2-year instalments plus £10 million add-ons.
Early this morning, West Ham swiftly responded to City’s bid for Rice, rejecting the offer as they have done to both of Arsenal’s bids this window.
Arsenal is rumoured to be preparing a third bid, with their last offer for the 24-year-old worth £75 million over 4 years’ worth of instalments plus £15 million in add-ons, which was also promptly rejected by the Hammers’.
Although we already witnessed Arsenal’s bid being rejected last week for a total of £90 million, so for Manchester City to bid the same total amount just a week later poses the question of City’s true intent behind this bid.
Declan Rice is an exceptionally talented defensive midfielder. Still, the Sky Blues are already stacked in this position, with Rodri, who many claim is the best in the role in the world already on their side, and Kalvin Phillips as cover, who they only just paid £50 million for last window.
Arsenal, on the other hand, could really do with a defensive midfielder, with questions over Thomas Partey’s future at the club starting to arise and Granit Xhaka leaving, a gaping hole will be left in their midfield if they do not acquire quality replacements this window, and as Mikel Arteta admitted himself recently, “talent comes at a price”.
West Ham has reportedly placed a price of £100 million on Rice for this window, which Arsenal have been reluctant to offer, but could Manchester City’s first official offer send shivers down the spines of the Arsenal hierarchy, potentially leaving them in fear of being beaten to the title and their number one target in the transfer market.
Although City’s offer was always going to be rejected by West Ham, the offer did not meet their valuation of the player, and with them not having a prominent place in the squad for Rice, the intention of this bid could well have more sinister motives behind it.
It has been heavily reported that Arsenal has a £200 million budget for this window, and with the Kai Havertz deal costing them £60 million plus £5 million in add-ons, pushing Arsenal into spending more than their initial valuation on Rice due to competition and draining their budget for the window could be the strategy behind City’s bid, because as of now, signing Rice for such a hefty fee makes little sense from a Manchester City standpoint.