BREAKING NEWS: Arsenal ready to table £90m bid for Declan Rice now his West Ham send-off is complete… but Gunners face tricky payments schedule as David Sullivan makes FFP demands
- Declan Rice captained West Ham to Europa Conference League glory
- Arsenal are keen to swiftly conclude a £90m deal for the England international
- West Ham though want any fee to be paid off in full inside the next two years
Arsenal are aiming to swiftly conclude a £90million swoop for Declan Rice but face paying the West Ham skipper’s full transfer fee inside two years.
The Gunners will table a formal offer for West Ham’s triumphant captain in the coming days, with Hammers chairman David Sullivan valuing Rice at over £100million.
Rice, who is also wanted by Manchester United, wrote his name into Hammers folklore on Wednesday night by leading his team to their first trophy since 1980 with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final.
But the midfielder’s future will now be thrust into the limelight as the fight for his signature gets underway.
Arsenal believe they are front runners for the England international, who is their No 1 transfer target.
Declan Rice captained West Ham to their first trophy 43 years with their victory over Fiorentina
His future at West Ham is uncertain with Arsenal believed to be leading the race for Rice
Rice’s international midfield partner Jude Bellingham’s pending move to Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund, for an initial fee of £88.5million rising to £113million if various performance-related add-ons are achieved, is an indication of where West Ham price their captain.
Mail Sport has learned that the Hammers want the guaranteed portion of Rice’s transfer fee paid by next summer.
West Ham were among the clubs named on UEFA’s financial fair play watchlist last September and two major annual lump sums would help ensure they comfortably stay within the laws.
Transfer fees can be spread across a number of years, often over the length of a player’s contract, to help the buying club manage their yearly expenditure.
Arsenal are prioritising reaching an agreement with West Ham before making final decisions on other transfer targets.
For example, Arsenal want to sign a new centre-back this summer but are waiting to discover the final cost of the Rice deal before deciding which of their targets they pursue.
Rice wants to stay in the Premier League this summer amid interest from Bayern Munich.
German champions Bayern, managed by Thomas Tuchel, want to to lure Rice away from the London Stadium.
Arsenal face a tricky payment schedule for Rice though as they would have to pay his full transfer fee within two years
Former Chelsea manager Tuchel has been a long-term admirer of Rice but it is understood that Rice prefers to continue playing in England’s top-flight next season.
Rice is understood to be settled in London, which could give the Gunners an advantage over United.
Nevertheless, United’s emergence as rivals for Rice could yet scupper Arsenal’s hopes.
The Old Trafford club are working with a limited transfer kitty this summer and are already set to commit at least £55million of their budget to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea.
However, it is understood that United would consider using players in part-exchange as part of their interest in Rice.
The Hammers have been constantly linked with an interest in United midfielder Scott McTominay and defender Harry Maguire.