£80m bid tabled for Newcastle United target - Arsenal, Man United & Man City linked

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Declan Rice is expected to leave West Ham United this summer as Arsenal make the first move.

Arsenal’s opening £80million bid for Declan Rice has been rejected by West Ham United - with Manchester City now expected to enter the race for the England international.

The Gunners have been favourites to sign the 24-year-old, who is happy about the prospect of joining. As such, personal terms won’t be an issue. However, it is now feared Man City will spark a bidding war with an offer of their own.

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Chelsea remain in contention but must sell players before buying. Manchester United have also registered an interest. Rice is a target for Newcastle but the finances involved - transfer fee and wages - aren’t viewed as affordable at this stage.

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta’s side are likely to return with an improved bid in the coming days but rumours of City’s imminent approach could drive up Rice’s price tag. West Ham want £120million, but will probably accept upwards of £100m.

Hammers chairman David Sullivan revealed in the aftermath of their Europa Conference League victory that Rice is set leave the East London club after nine years.

“I think it has to be. We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going and in due course he has to get on and we have to get a replacement.

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“It is not something we wanted to happen. We offered him £200,000 a week 18 months ago and he turned it down. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.

“I think the offers will start to come. Three or four clubs have shown interest but out of respect to West Ham, while we’re still playing, you don’t make offers for players.”

Rice has made 245 appearances and scored 15 goals for West Ham, and is only the club’s third-ever captain to lift a major trophy. He has been capped 41 times by England.

The former Chelsea youngster has one year left on his contract, although the Hammers have the option to extend that until the summer of 2025.

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