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Declan Rice Transfer Saga: Total Agreement

Everyone knows that West Ham’s Declan Rice has been the No. 1 transfer priority for Mikel Arteta, Edu Gaspar and everyone connected with Arsenal, so you could imagine the fears that were allayed when the Manchester City Juggernaut came into the picture and made a formal bid for the England midfielder.

The Arsenal universe went into mayhem and feared the worst but when David Ornstein and the other transfer gurus divulged that Manchester City made a £90m bid, with £80m upfront and £10m in add-ons, it was no surprise that West Ham rejected the bid. They wanted £100m from their main man and would settle for nothing less.

Arsenal responded to Manchester City’s interest with a third and final bid of £105m, which was a monster bid of £100m upfront and £5m in performance related add-ons, which was accepted by West Ham. With that bid accepted, Arsenal had to come up with a definite structure for the payment and negotiations have been ongoing for quite some time, with stories regarding the matter going to the back burner.

After much discussions and deliberations, total agreement has been reached with West Ham, which will allow Declan Rice to have his medical and get ready for the photoshoots. Hopefully, it will not be leaked like the Kai Havertz situation we found ourselves in.

Signing Rice will be a massive breakthrough for the club and I’m certain the fans will flood social media showing their appreciation to Arsenal for getting this deal over.

More on the Rice transfer saga in the coming days, but the word, total agreement, sounds so sweet.

Sayonara

How Badly Do You Want Your Rice? £105m?

Edu faces easy Thomas Partey decision after £13m blow amid Arsenal's Declan  Rice transfer plan - Kieran Horn - football.london

£105 million for Declan Rice.

Arsenal’s last offer was worth £90 million, spreading £75 million over four payments and the remaining £15 million based on performance add-ons, but this failed to match West Ham’s valuation for Rice which, if we are to believe the tabloids, is £100 million. The latest offer, as reported by the Athletic’s Ornacle, is that Arsenal is paying £100 million upfront, and £5 million based on performance add-ons.

This is unprecedented. This is massive! Arsenal is about to make Declan Rice the most expensive transfer in British history.

Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar identified Rice as the prime transfer target this summer and wasted no time in reaching out to West Ham for his services, following the conclusion of the Europa Conference League and the start of the summer transfer window. The gaffer saw Rice as the ideal replacement in the crater-like leadership void that Granit Xhaka was going to create with his imminent departure to Bayer Leverkusen. Rice is also adept playing as a No. 8 alongside Thomas Partey, or as a No. 6, should he take Partey’s place in the team to play alongside Kai Havertz. In a worst case scenario or injury crisis, he can also play as a center back, which will make him invaluable and indispensable to the first team.

For a transfer of this magnitude, especially with £100 million paid upfront, I will expect Arsenal to try to balance their books with some sales, and while we have some deadwood to clear out like Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares and maybe Rob Holding and Albert Sambi Lokonga, Arsenal will be looking to get top dollar from the likes of Folarin Balogun, who fancies a move out of the Emirates Stadium and maybe Thomas Partey, with the Saudi Arabia vultures swarming around him

It is also believed that the deal for Kai Havertz is already sorted, with the German maestro having his medical early this week, as well as a potential move on the cards for Ajax’s Jurrien Timber and Caliber, this would essentially mean that Arsenal would have splurged £200m on three players. These are all world class additions to the squad and with the Gunner competing in four tournaments – Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup (you can even add the Community Shield against Manchester City to the mix), Arteta will need the support of the entire squad to push through the season.

On one side, Arsenal has made an incredible bid of £105 million for Declan Rice. On the other side is West Ham, receiving this offer and forced with a decision to make. Accept the offer and allow Rice to discuss personal terms with Arsenal (which I believe must have been agreed since), pass his medicals and send the Arsenal universe to delirium. Or stall the offer, and wait for Manchester City to match the bid and continue the saga. Or reject the offer entirely, leaving Arsenal no choice but to end this Rice pursuit and face other potential targets, like Romeo Lavia of Southampton. 

The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, yes, the guy who told us that Rice favors a move to Arsenal over Manchester City, tweeted that West Ham neither accepted or rejected the offer, which adds more fuel to the fire that is the Declan Rice transfer saga. There’s only so much they can actually hold out, but Arsenal, Declan Rice and the rest of the football world awaits West Ham’s decision after the Mother of all Offers for their prized asset. 

Let’s hope common sense prevails.

Sayonara.

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Partey’s Saudi / Juventus Links and a Third Rice Bid?

Edu faces easy Thomas Partey decision after £13m blow amid Arsenal's Declan  Rice transfer plan - Kieran Horn - football.london

Having shared my thoughts on the Declan Rice situation a couple of days ago, the chatter still remains that he favors a move to Arsenal ahead of Manchester City. He’s a London boy through and through, just had a kid, so wouldn’t really want to relocate up North and at Arsenal, he will be a regular starter in the Premier League and Champions League, but one road block still exists – an agreement with West Ham over Rice’s transfer fee. 

Arsenal’s last offer was worth £90 million, spreading £75 million over four payments and the remaining £15 million based on performance add-ons, but this failed to match West Ham’s valuation for Rice which, if we are to believe the tabloids, is £100 million. Since making his debut for West Ham as an academy graduate in 2016, Rice has garnered 245 appearances for the Hammers, scoring fifteen goals and its astonishing to know that 100 of those 245 apps came in the last two seasons, a testament of his fitness and stamina levels, as he notched up 50 appearances last season and 50 appearances in the recently concluded season.

According to Sky Sports, Arsenal is set to make a third bid for Declan Rice, and one would assume that this will be the final bid for the England midfielder, with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia serving as a backup plan should this Rice pursuit fail to come to fruition. Last season saw the Gunners make a lot of backup contingent transfers after the failed moves for their initial targets – a move for Lisandro Martinez gave way for Oleksandr Zinchenko and a move for Mykhailo Mudryk turned out to be a Leandro Trossard signing. In as much as I’m happy the ‘backup’ signings did very well, I hope we get over the line for Declan Rice as he will be a monumental signing for us. Rice is a generational talent that can play as a No. 6, No. 8 and No. 5, which will allow Mikel Arteta make loads of tactical switches to improve our game at Arsenal. 

Rice can potentially play with the club’s defensive lynchpin, Thomas Partey, but there has been a lot of speculation regarding the Ghanaian’s future at Arsenal. Al Nassr, Al Ahli and Al Khaleej are clearly interested in signing Partey for a big-money move, and Arsenal are interested in letting him go. Juventus has also emerged as potential suitors for Partey’s services, and with this much interest, it is very likely that Arsenal may see two-thirds of their core midfield depart this summer with Granit Xhaka already set to leave for Bayer Leverkusen. 

Losing Xhaka and Partey in the same window will be a bitter pill to swallow, but I trust Arsenal to replace them adequately. Kai Havertz seems to be the Xhaka replacement while Declan Rice, if the deal works out, would potentially be Partey’s replacement. Smart business if you ask me. 

Let’s not forget we still have the backup options of Fabio Vieira for the left No. 8 position, and Jorginho and Mo Elneny for the No. 6 position. As for Albert Sambi Lokonga, I still don’t know where he fits in, as I’d expect him to depart this summer, probably on loan to gain more valuable football in his bid to continue his football education.

Sayonara.

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