City had submitted a £90m bid, made up of £80m up front and £10m in add-ons that match Arsenal’s second offer – £75m with £15m worth of add-ons. Both were rejected by the Hammers and it was widely expected that City would go in for another shot at securing this summer’s hottest property.
However, Arsenal have now met West Ham’s £100m asking price, with a further £5m in add-ons, which would take the fee for the Hammers star past that of Jack Grealish, who signed for the blues two years ago,
It is rumoured that the blues have now pulled out of the race and will not attempt to match Arsenal’s offer, leaving the way clear for Rice to make the move from East to North London. Of course, this now leaves City free to focus on signing Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.
The German side are looking for at least £100m from the blues for the centre-back, but City are confident they will be able to negotiate a reasonable rate for the defender.
City Really Didn’t Need Rice
City’s interest in Rice was a strange one, but hardly unexpected. Manager Pep Guardiola is an admirer of the England international and it would have been nice to add him to the squad. As well as being an England international, Rice is only 24 and still has his best years ahead of him.
However, with Guardiola relying on Rodri for much of last season, it is expected that Kalvin Phillips, signed from Leeds at the start of last season, will play a bigger role in the side, as long as he can stay fit.
Phillips would likely have made more of an impression had he not missed much of the start of last season through injury, then the World Cup in November impacted and limited his chances further. In the second half of the season, Guardiola utilised Rodri more often, as he invariably does at the business end of the season, which limited Phillips even more.
It was also rumoured that Phillips would form part of a deal to bring Rice to Manchester, but it seems manager Guardiola is intent on keeping the England star.
The blues really didn’t need to sign Rice, or even bid for the England man. There’s already an abundance of talent in the ranks and this will just free up the cash to buy a second or third-choice target instead. It won’t be the first time City have missed out on a player and it won’t be the last.