Manchester City have made a bid worth £90m for West Ham United captain Declan Rice.
Having beaten Arsenal to last season’s Premier League title, Manchester City are now hoping to pip the Gunners to Rice’s signature.
The offer breaks down as £80m up front plus £10m in add-ons.
The bid is short of West Ham’s valuation and early indications suggest it will be rejected.
Arsenal are still pushing to sign Rice – and West Ham are expecting them to come in with a third bid after having two offers rejected.
Rice will leave West Ham in the close season after the midfielder captained the club to their first European trophy in 58 years.
Hammers chairman David Sullivan said a gentleman’s agreement means Rice can leave despite a year remaining on his contract with the option to extend it by a further 12 months.
Rice joined West Ham’s academy from Chelsea as a teenager and has been ever-present since his breakthrough season in 2017-18. He took over the captaincy after Mark Noble’s retirement last year.
The 24-year-old played 50 games in all competitions this season as West Ham finished 14th in the Premier League before clinching the Europa Conference League in Prague.
Rice has played more than 200 games for West Ham and also earned 41 caps for England since his international debut in 2019.
Manchester United have an interest in Rice and there have been discussions internally about how possible it would be to sanction a deal.
Due to Financial Fair Play rules, it is unlikely United could spend a huge portion of their budget on one player – especially as they have other areas they want to strengthen.
West Ham have agreed to let Rice go this summer but want a deal worth £120m if they are to sanction their captain’s departure.
City’s interest increases the likelihood of a bidding war between themselves and Arsenal, and the possibility of West Ham’s asking price being matched.
Analysis: Rice alongside Rodri would give Man City even more midfield control
Sky Sports’ Peter Smith:
Rodri started 52 games for Manchester City last season, capping a brilliant campaign for both himself and his team with the Champions League match-winning goal. He has only just turned 26 years old and the Premier League’s top defensive midfielder and Pep Guardiola favourite is set to be a mainstay of the Man City team for seasons to come.
So why are the treble-winners so eager to bring in West Ham’s Declan Rice? The answer is that rather than being an alternative, back-up or replacement for Rodri, Rice has the attributes to be an ideal foil for the Spaniard. Kalvin Phillips has struggled badly for game time since joining Man City but his England team-mate appears to have a ready-made role in Guardiola’s XI.
During the past season, we saw Rico Lewis, Kyle Walker and most recently John Stones step into midfield from out-of-possession defensive positions to play beside Rodri. It was a tactical ploy by Guardiola which paid off handsomely, giving Man City an extra man in that key area of the pitch. Its success was reflected by the fact teams throughout the league were trying to replicate it by the end of the season.
Rice – top for recoveries, interceptions and distance carrying the ball in the Premier League last season – could take on the role with authority. He would be a first-class defensive midfield partner for Rodri, able to break up play but also deliver from deep on the ball. There is then Rice’s history as a centre-back and the flexibility he could offer Guardiola by dropping into the backline.
It would be an exciting switch for Rice and Man City – and an ominous one for their rivals. With Mateo Kovacic a £30m replacement for the outgoing captain Ilkay Gundogan, a Rice-Rodri combination could just take the Man City engine room up a level again next season.
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