Rice’s Premier League Preference: Arsenal or United Over Bayern
The ever-evolving summer transfer market has provided a new twist in the saga surrounding Declan Rice. The 24-year-old England international, who has made significant strides with West Ham United, is believed to be preparing to turn down an opportunity to join Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Rice: An Attractive Asset Across Europe
Thomas Tuchel, the Bayern boss, has always held Rice in high regard and reportedly sees him as an essential addition to the German side’s squad. But it seems the West Ham captain’s preference is to remain in England’s top flight, which could disrupt Bayern’s plans.
Rice has shone brightly in the Premier League, leading West Ham to the brink of Europa Conference League glory, with a final against Fiorentina on the horizon. West Ham chairman David Sullivan’s starting valuation of Rice is reportedly over £100 million, hoping that the midfielder’s evident talent will prompt a bidding war among Europe’s top clubs.
Arsenal Emerge as a Frontrunner
As per Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mirror, Arsenal appear to be leading the charge to secure Rice’s services. The Gunners, under head coach Mikel Arteta, are set to table an initial bid in the region of £90 million once West Ham’s Europa Conference League commitments are fulfilled.
Arteta, who has earmarked Rice as his prime target this summer, wants the midfielder to be Arsenal’s first acquisition in what is expected to be a busy transfer window for the North London club. Rice’s familiarity with the city and his settled life in London could tilt the scales in favour of the Gunners.
Manchester United: An Alternative Option
Rice’s situation has not escaped the attention of another Premier League giant, Manchester United. The Old Trafford outfit is seen as potential competition for Arsenal, but they will need to navigate the constraints of a restricted transfer budget.
There are whispers that United could consider leveraging players as part of a deal for Rice, a strategy that West Ham might find appealing given their long-rumoured interest in a certain United midfielder. But it’s worth noting that United’s ability to manoeuvre is somewhat limited, as they are already set to earmark at least £55 million of their budget elsewhere.
What The Future Holds
Though the anticipation and speculation continue to build, the reality of Rice’s next destination will only be revealed in the coming months. Yet, as of now, it’s clear that Rice’s ambition lies within the Premier League, giving Arsenal and Manchester United a significant edge in the race for his signature. With such a talent on offer, this saga promises to add excitement to the already buzzing summer transfer window.