West Ham turn down first Arsenal bid for Rice


West Ham United team captain Declan Rice (C), with team, lift the trophy after winning the Europa Conference Football League match between West Ham United and Fiorentina, at the Fortuna Arena in Prague, Czech Republic on June 7, 2023. 

West Ham have rejected Arsenal’s first bid for England midfielder Declan Rice.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has made Rice one of his main transfer targets, with suggestions that a deal was close.

However, it is understood the initial offer for the 24-year-old has left the Hammers unimpressed as it contains a number of clauses.

Sources at West Ham do expect further communication from Arsenal, although they are also anticipating an offer from Manchester City.

City are refusing to comment on potential interest in Rice.

There is uncertainty over the futures of City captain Ilkay Gundogan and team-mate Bernardo Silva, which could force the club’s manager, Pep Guardiola, into the transfer market.

West Ham chairman David Sullivan has said he is “99%” sure that Rice, who captained the Hammers to victory in the Europa Conference League earlier this month, will leave the club this summer.

Rice has played 245 games and scored 15 goals for West Ham, having made his debut in the 2016-17 season after coming through the academy.

He has been capped 41 times by England, playing in all five of their matches at last winter’s World Cup.

Rice has one year left on his contract, although the Hammers have the option to extend that until the summer of 2025, leaving them in a strong position to negotiate a substantial transfer fee.

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