West Ham make part-exchange demand to Arsenal for Declan Rice; Arteta doesn’t want to lose Moyes target
Declan Rice is widely expected to join Arsenal this summer. But, the Gunners could end up losing a key player in exchange for his services.
It’s no secret that Mikel Arteta has made the England international his primary transfer target as he looks to bolster his midfield options.
West Ham chairman David Sullivan has already explained that the club will not stand in Rice’s way as “we promised him he could go.”
Indeed, the Europa Conference League final victory over Fiorentina on Saturday is almost certain to be his final game for the Hammers.
But, David Moyes is still keen to extract as much value from the sale of Rice as possible. The manager has already slapped a £100m price tag on his star man.
Arsenal are reportedly prepared to pay around £95m for his services, while Bayern Munich have also registered an interest in the 24-year-old.
Nevertheless, it’s believed Rice’s preference is to head to the Emirates this summer. So, it would be a major shock for any other outcome to occur.
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West Ham want Emile Smith Rowe
However, Moyes has now potentially thrown a spanner in the works. According to the Sun, he has requested that Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe joins West Ham in exchange for Rice.
Their report notes that ‘the idea of a deal involving Smith Rowe moving the opposite way’ has been floated by West Ham. Also, Moyes is allegedly a “big fan” of the England international.
The 22-year-old has now reportedly ‘become part of the conversation’ because Moyes feels ‘he could really help the team as they rebuild,’ even if he has ‘fallen down the pecking order’ at Arsenal.
This season, Smith Rowe made just 12 Premier League appearances for Arsenal. This is in stark contrast to the previous campaign, when he made 33 and scored 10 goals.
Despite this, Arteta has already insisted that he isn’t for sale. So, this ambitious proposal from West Ham will definitely test the manager’s resolve.
Indeed, the Sun add that this ‘could be a route Arsenal are forced to go down’ to sign their main summer target.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how this story develops. Particularly, if Arteta is willing to part ways with a player he likes to seal a deal for Rice.
If not, Arsenal may have to stump up a bigger fee for the West Ham captain than they anticipated.
READ MORE: Arsenal transfers: Double £150m signing explodes into life with club-record bid imminent for potential Declan Rice partner