Arsenal now ‘willing to break record’ for £110m star at the Emirates
Arsenal are willing to break their transfer record for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, journalist Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.
Nicolas Pepe currently holds it after moving to the Emirates in a £72m deal back in 2019, but Jones can see the Gunners going above that for Rice.
Journalist Rudy Galetti recently informed GMS that Rice is a priority for Arsenal.
The 24-year-old is not going to come cheap, though, with David Moyes stating that he will cost more than the £107m Chelsea paid to sign Enzo Fernandez last month.
“Undoubtedly Declan is going to be a top player,” the West Ham manager was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “He’ll be a British transfer record if he ever leaves West Ham.”
It means Arsenal could end up paying significantly more than the £72m they splashed out on Pepe.
What has Dean Jones said about Declan Rice and Arsenal?
Jones thinks Arsenal would be prepared to make Rice their record signing but has doubts about them offering their London rivals Fernandez-level money.
Speaking to GMS, the transfer insider said: “I think Arsenal are definitely willing to break their own transfer record to sign Declan Rice, but I’m not sure they’re going to go above and beyond £100m and break the British record.
“I think West Ham will be hopeful that that happens. They’re hopeful that they can get £110m for Rice. I can understand why they would set their stall out at that level. I’m just not 100% sure that it’s realistic.”
Will Declan Rice become the Premier League’s most expensive signing ever?
West Ham would obviously love to get £110m for Rice, especially after watching Fernandez, who only burst onto the scene recently, move to Stamford Bridge for nearly the same price.
The Argentina international is a World Cup winner, of course, but the Hammers will argue that their midfielder is more established and proven in the Premier League.
He is approaching 200 appearances in the English top flight, as per Transfermarkt, and is already the captain of his side despite being just 24 years of age.
With all of that being said, Rice’s contract is running down. He will be a free agent in 2024, though West Ham do have the option to extend his existing deal by another 12 months.
Considering that, the England star is probably going to end up costing less than Fernandez if he does join Mikel Arteta’s side or another outfit this summer.
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