From Chelsea to the Manchester clubs to Liverpool, it feels as though West Ham midfielder and England international Declan Rice has been linked with half the Premier League’s top half sides. It may be Arsenal, though, who are his biggest suitors.
That’s the story this week from The Times, who believe the league-leading Gunners are in pole position and likely to beat out the competition for the player, who they expect will end up costing at least £80M despite only having a contract through 2024.
It’s a fee that speaks to the inflated value for domestically trained players—and it’s maybe worth remembering Liverpool paid £35M for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a year left on his contract five years ago now—and the potential for a bidding war.
However, bidding war or not it may be Liverpool won’t be involved despite their need for midfield reinforcements and past links with Rice, with most transfer chatter around Jürgen Klopp’s Reds having shifted to alternate targets in recent weeks.
On that front, Jude Bellingham remains widely regarded as the top target, and despite a seeming need for reinforcements this month the second most mentioned name at present is Matheus Nunes, who similarly would be a summer signing.