Declan Rice, a midfielder for West Ham United, is getting ready to leave the London Stadium this summer, and Manchester City is considering making a move for him.
Arsenal’s top transfer priority this window is Rice, and the Gunners have already had a bid for the England international turned down.
The 24-year-old is valued by West Ham at about £100 million, but Arsenal’s offer fell short of that sum, and it has been said that the deal’s structure infuriated the Hammers as well.
Although they haven’t submitted a bid and are currently simply examining Rice as an option during this window, City is now thinking about formalizing their own interest in the player.
Jude Bellingham was the midfielder Pep Guardiola wanted to add to his team this summer, but the teenager ended up signing for Real Madrid.
Ilkay Gundogan, the team’s captain, is still up in the air as his contract expires at the end of this month and Barcelona is reportedly interested in signing him. Bernardo Silva may also look to leave the Etihad Stadium.
Mateo Kovacic, a midfielder for Chelsea, has drawn interest from City, but acquiring Rice would make a statement signing if they made a move for the player.
When the team won the Europa Conference League last week in Prague, he made history by becoming the first West Ham captain to hoist a European trophy since Bobby Moore in 1965.
His final match with the team appears to be that one, and it had been anticipated for some time that he would leave this summer. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live last week, club chairman David Sullivan expressed his “99%” certainty that Rice would depart the team.
Bayern Munich was also interested, but according to rumors in Germany, they withdrew this week. Arsenal appeared to have a strong advantage, but City’s prospective interest might yet turn the tide.
Speaking after the Europa Conference League win last week, Rice said: “At the moment there’s a lot of speculation going on about my future. Obviously there is interest from other clubs but ultimately I still have two years left at West Ham.
“I love this club and I love playing for this club. There hasn’t been anything yet. My focus is playing for West Ham at the moment. I am captain of this club and I can’t speak highly enough of this place. Let’s just see what happens. Let’s wait and see. Who knows?”