Declan Rice to Arsenal for £120m? Gunners warned asking price is ‘very high’ as Gilberto Silva reacts to talk of West Ham transfer raid
- England star shining for Hammers
- Talk of a big-money move being made
- Potential target at Emirates Stadium
WHAT HAPPENED? The England international midfielder has continued to catch the eye at West Ham during the 2022-23 campaign, while also enhancing his reputation at the World Cup finals in Qatar. Rice is tied to terms with the Hammers through to 2024, with a 12-month extension option beyond that point, but he is generating plenty of exit talk ahead of the summer transfer window. Arsenal are said to figure prominently on the 24-year-old’s list of suitors, but questions are being asked of whether his supposed nine-figure price tag is overinflated.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Arsenal legend Gilberto, speaking in association with Best One Casino Site, has told GOAL of the fee it would take to prise Rice away from the London Stadium: “Normally you see this sort of price for strikers, not central midfielders. It feels quite high, even though there is no doubting the quality of the player, but it does feel like a very high price. When you compare him to other players who play in a similar position and have moved for big money, he offers a different perception and the price is totally different. Ultimately, it will all depend on the needs of the market.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal will be looking to spend this summer, but they do not have an unlimited budget. With that in mind, ‘Invincibles’ hero Gilberto was asked if Rice should be the top priority for Mikel Arteta. The Brazilian said: “There have been some rumours about Arsenal before, but they seem to be increasing again. I’m not 100% convinced this is the first position Mikel is going to strengthen first, but he is a really strong candidate. He has done so well at West Ham; I’ve watched their last few games and he has shown exactly why people are talking about him so highly. It’s not going to be an easy transfer because of the high price, but the market is crazy nowadays - you have to pay expensive fees for good players. Declan Rice is ready for a big move, he has given a massive contribution to West Ham, so let’s wait and see what happens in the transfer market. West Ham are more than entitled to listen to offers for their player in the market, it won’t be only Arsenal trying to sign him in the window.”
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WHAT NEXT? Rice has helped West Ham to the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League this season, but has made no secret of the fact that he wants to be gracing a Champions League stage on a regular basis and would get those opportunities if he were to make the short journey from east to north London.