David Ornstein has told The Athletic that it has been suggested to him that a figure as low as £75 million may be enough to sign Declan Rice this summer, amid reports Arsenal have identified him as a top target.
The Gunners did manage to sign a midfielder on the final day of the January transfer window. However, it is fair to say that Mikel Arteta’s men have not addressed the issue in the long-term, with Jorginho arriving from Chelsea.
In fact, reports have already emerged suggesting who Arsenal have at the top of their wishlist for the end of the season. The Times recently claimed that Rice is the name Mikel Arteta wants.
Arsenal target Rice may only cost £75 million this summer
And the Premier League leaders believe that the 24-year-old will be keen to make the switch to the Emirates. But of course, the asking price is going to be a key hurdle for Arsenal to clear.
Ornstein noted that West Ham have previously wanted more than £100 million for Rice. However, he has suggested that the price may be a lot lower in the upcoming window.
“It’s their last chance to reap a massive transfer fee for him,” he told The Athletic. “But I think compared to last year, when West Ham had no intention or need to sell, and the valuation – if there was one – was in excess of £100 million, the word that I’m hearing from around the industry is that £75, £80, £85 [million] is the more realistic figure for Declan Rice this summer.”
Of course, signing any player who commands a club-record fee is going to be a gamble. However, a deal for Rice appears to be a no-brainer, particularly if £75 million is enough to get a move done.
He has been incredibly consistent throughout his time in the West Ham first-team. And he has established himself as arguably one of the best holding midfielders around.
A player with that ‘magnificent‘ ability would find it almost impossible not to improve in the current squad. And it would certainly help Arsenal move to the next level, with both Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka set to be in their thirties by the start of next season.