- Arsenal saw first bid rejected
- Submit an increased offer of £90m
- In talks with Southampton for Lavia as well
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners saw their earlier bid of £80 million for Rice rejected by West Ham as the Hammers value the midfielder at over £100m. But Arsenal have now returned with an improved offer, according to The Athletic, as Mikel Arteta pushes to secure his number one summer target. The Gunners' second bid amounted to a ground total of £90m including add-ons, which West Ham have also turned down. Arsenal are getting closer to an acceptable fee, though, and Rice remains adamant about completing his move to the Emirates Stadium by the end of this month, which gives the club leverage over other bidders.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rice may not be the only new midfielder set to join Arteta's ranks, according to Fabrizio Romano, with the Gunners also making progress in their endeavours to sign Romeo Lavia from Southampton. However, they are yet to submit an official bid for the midfielder, with the Saints set to demand a club record fee of around £50 million ($64m).
AND WHAT'S MORE: Manchester United are also keen on Lavia but their priority appears to be signing Mason Mount from Chelsea. The Blues are also keeping a close eye on the developments as Mauricio Pochetiino is looking to overhaul his squad in the summer transfer window.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? West Ham have agreed to part ways with Rice this summer but they have made it clear that he won't be going for a cut-price fee, and the bidder must match the demands put forth by them. Manchester City are also reportedly keen on the England star, but German giants Bayern Munich pulled out of the running.