West Ham: Arsenal in ‘first contacts’ over Declan Rice move
Arsenal have made a first move to sign West Ham United captain Declan Rice, according to journalist Rudy Galetti.
The Lowdown: Top performer
Rice, who has been hailed for his speed around the pitch by David Moyes, took over as club captain in the summer following Mark Noble’s retirement from playing.
The 23-year-old has played every minute of Premier League action during the current campaign and has been the Irons’ best-rated performer (as per WhoScored) in a season which has been a struggle so far.
The midfielder’s contract at the London Stadium is set to expire in 2024, although the club have the option to extend that by a further 12 months. However, it seems as if a move away could be on the cards in 2023, with the Emirates Stadium a possible destination for the England international.
The Latest: Contact made over Rice
Galetti took to Twitter in the last 48 hours to share what he knows about Rice and Arsenal, describing it as an ‘evolving situation’.
He said that ‘first contacts’ have already happened, adding that a move may take place in the summer.
The Verdict: Exit seems viable
It does seem as if an exit is inevitable for Rice, who admitted last month that he has his eye on playing Champions League football. The Gunners are in a good position to finish in the top four and are seemingly on the hunt for a new holding midfielder, so a transfer seems to make sense for both player and potential buyer.
Mikel Arteta was also spotted hugging Rice after the recent fixture between the two clubs, so it wouldn’t come as a shock if an official offer is made at some point in 2023. However, you’d expect that West Ham would want a huge fee if they are to part ways with their captain, with one report citing an £88m valuation.