- City exit race to sign Rice
- Champions put off by £105m valuation
- Club walked away from Maguire, Cucurella deals in past
WHAT HAPPENED? The Premier League champions are no longer pursuing a transfer for Declan Rice after being put off by the escalating price of the West Ham midfielder. Pep Guardiola's side made an offer of £90m, which was rejected by the Hammers and GOAL understands they were not willing to go any higher. Arsenal now look set to complete a new record signing for a British player, exceeding the £100m City paid for Jack Grealish in 2021.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: City have long refused to get drawn into bidding wars for players and have a history of walking away from deals with transfer targets once the asking price has gone above their valuation. In 2018 the club were negotiating a deal to sign Jorginho from Napoli but pulled out of the move when the Serie A outfit increased the price to £57m, leading Chelsea to sign the midfielder instead. In 2019 City were keen on bringing Harry Maguire to the Etihad Stadium but also refused to meet Leicester's asking price of £80m, which saw the defender eventually move to Manchester United instead. The same reason saw them withdraw from a deal to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in 2020, while last summer City backed away from a move for Marc Cucurella, who later moved to Chelsea from Brighton for more than £60m.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? The Gunners are also hoping to pull off deals for Ajax defender Jurrien Timber and Chelsea forward Kai Havertz, which could see their summer spending go past the £200m mark. Mikel Arteta's side had a net spend of £143.9m last season, the fifth highest in the Premier League and the third highest among Europe's major clubs. City, who sold Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal last year, ranked 19th in the Premier League and the lowest of Europe's top 15 clubs.