After two, effectively, confirmed bids from Arsenal for West Ham United and England midfielder Declan Rice (including some reports of a third bid that was rejected), on Wednesday afternoon, the BBC provided proof of a firm third bid and Mikel Arteta’s side have now raised their offer to a reported £105 million.
We had only just rejected a slightly more favourable £90 million offer from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, but it is also being claimed that City will not match Arsenal’s latest bid for the 24 year old.
Whilst on face value this seems like a very incredible deal from West Ham’s perspective given owner David Sullivan stating that he was “99%” sure Rice would leave this summer, and it was certainly believed that we were holding out for £100 million as a minimum – the BBC also report that the Hammers remain unhappy with the payment structure proposed by Arsenal.
It has been known that we wanted to both maximise the transfer fee, whilst also ensuring that we got that fee as soon as possible, and I read somewhere that we wanted the initial fee paid within a maximum of 18 months. Arsenal’s latest offer is said to be £100 million up front, to meet our valuation, with £5 million in performance related add ons as a tempter.
But clearly, the payment structure might not meet that 18 month stipulation that we are apparently insisting on. The report, however, does not imply that we have yet rejected this offer, it tends to imply that we may have accepted it in principle, but want further negotiations on the payment structure alone.
With some believing that Arsenal had moved on to other targets after their last offer was rebuffed, this is definitely a development and if ultimately accepted, it would put West Ham in the transfer record books as it would equal the fee Manchester City paid for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish (and there are those who tempt Grealish’s fee was slightly higher so it would still match it). A British player record.
Then, from our point of view it is simply down to how we reinvest that sum in the next few seasons so we continue our own improvement even given last season’s league wobble.