- Hammers star is a man in demand
- Would prefer to remain in England
- Gunners leading recruitment race
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners have made the England international midfielder their top target for the summer window, and are eager to get business done quickly. They are aware that Rice is attracting rival interest from Premier League foes United and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Daily Mail reports that Arsenal are now looking to wrap up a big-money move that will allow Rice to take on a new challenge immediately after captaining West Ham to Europa Conference League glory in 2022-23 – their first trophy triumph since 1980.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Rice is said to favour a switch that will keep him in England, rather than heading off to join German giants Bayern, while he is settled in London and that is expected to give Arsenal the edge over United – who are also looking to reinforce their midfield engine room this summer.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT? While Arsenal are prepared to spend big on Rice, West Ham are reported to be demanding that the guaranteed portion of the 24-year-old’s fee is paid inside 12 months – with the full asking price needing to be met inside two years. The Hammers value their skipper at over £100m ($125m), but they may be willing to compromise if funds are delivered in a relatively short period of time – rather than over the course of a long-term contract.