Arsenal target Declan Rice isn’t going to come cheap this summer, with The Athletic’s David Ornstein reporting the valuation he’s heard to The Athletic Football Podcast this week.
“The word that I am hearing from the industry is that £75/80/85m is a more realistic figure for Declan Rice this summer,” Ornstein explained.
The Telegraph recently reported that Arsenal are growing in confidence they can secure a deal for Rice, and their January pursuit of Moises Caicedo was totally unrelated to that summer move.
Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen midfield in the medium and long term, and Rice is seen as an ideal player to provide competition in the centre of the pitch.
Various reports suggest Rice would prefer to join Arsenal over London rivals Chelsea, so that should help.
Rice is reportedly confident of Arteta’s coaching making him a better midfielder, having seen the Spaniard turn his current Arsenal side into title contenders.
As well as the chance to work under Arteta, Rice is also keen to play in the Champions League, which looks significantly more likely at Arsenal than Chelsea right now.
CBS Sports reported last month that Rice has been speaking to teammates about Arsenal with effusive praise behind the scenes, admitting he’s stunned by the progress the Gunners have made.
West Ham are expected to have to sell in the summer, as Rice’s deal expires in 2024 and he’s been unwilling to sign a new one.
West Ham do have the option to extend by a year, but this looks like their best chance to cash in.