An intriguing clause in Declan Rice’s contract with Arsenal grants West Ham the right of first refusal on his England teammate.
Rice settled into life in north London after signing with Arsenal in July for a then-British record fee of £105 million.
David Moyes wanted to get paid as much as possible for West Ham’s prized asset, so the Gunners had to work hard to come to an arrangement with them.
When Rice was at the Emirates, the Hammers added an intriguing clause to his contract that grants them the right to sign Emile Smith Rowe before anybody else if he chose to quit the team the following season.
Before Mohamed Kudus signed, Smith Rowe was Moyes’ top choice, according to Football Transfers.
Smith Rowe has recovered from a protracted knee injury, but under Mikel Arteta, he has yet to start a game.
The Englishman’s current deal with Arsenal expires in 2026, although it’s not clear if the club would approve a sale or prefer to loan him out.
Over the summer, a number of Premier League teams, most notably Aston Villa and Chelsea, were said to be interested in the midfielder.
Newcastle has been mentioned as a potential buyer for him in January. Transfer analyst Fabrizio Romano recently provided an update on the Magpies’ interest.
In an interview with Caught Offside on Tuesday, Romano said, “This [Smith Rowe] is a name that keeps coming up, but again I’m not aware of any concrete talk at this stage with Newcastle, let’s see closer to the January window.”
As I’ve always said, Newcastle are not pushing forward with any signings right now because it’s important for them to know if they will be in the UCL in the second half of the season before making a move.
In April, Arteta hinted that Smith Rowe still had a promising future with the team.
He is pushing, and in football, what you accomplished a year or a month ago is irrelevant; what matters is what you do right now, yesterday, and tomorrow, according to Arteta.
The player must adopt that attitude, and his new duty to the team is to improve us and help us win games. He’s nearly there.