- England’s biggest clubs are interested in buying West Ham captain Declan Rice
- Arsenal have made good progress on personal terms but saw a bid rejected
- Man City are also in the running for him, along with Chelsea and Man United
Declan Rice is a wanted man, but only the club who agree to West Ham’s demands will land the 24-year-old defensive midfielder this summer, leaving their rivals disappointed.
Arsenal remain the frontrunners, but Manchester City are also in the running along with Chelsea and Manchester United after they also registered their interest in the England international.
Each club wants to be kept informed of the race for Rice. That is not a problem for West Ham. The more chasers involved, the higher the price as far as they are concerned.
Here, Mail Sport imagines the cases each Premier League giant is making for £100m as Arsenal, Chelsea, City and United battle it out in the transfer market.
ARSENAL’S SALES BOARD
We have made no secret of our desire to sign you.
You are our top target and we have wasted no time in trying to get you, although our initial offer of £80m plus £10m in add-ons was a bit cheeky.
We will return with an improved bid that will meet West Ham’s £100m valuation so we can end this nonsense before it becomes a summer saga. You don’t want that, and neither do we.
We have a Granit Xhaka sized hole in the middle of our team. We need a new leader. We want a midfield boss who can win the ball and then run with it. And you fit the mold perfectly.
We saw your anticipation first-hand in April when West Ham came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at the London Stadium. You won the ball from Thomas Partey and that sparked the comeback.
Partey is talented, but his skills are different from yours. You can move the ball forward like few others can. It would add another dimension to the team. You could operate on No. 6, or even on No. 8.
Mikel Arteta has spoken of the need for tactically versatile players who can play in multiple systems.
He doesn’t want to stick with a 4-3-3 every week as that could become too predictable in the Premier League. Your versatility would give Arteta greater options in this regard.
Arsenal finished second to City last season. With you, we believe we can go one step further.
CHELSEA SALES BOARD
Hear us, Declan. This would be a homecoming of the highest order. Forget Pogback. This is Rice Return, coming back to finish what you started here all those years ago.
You know what Chelsea is all about, having been here until the age of 14.
We’re letting you go and we want to fix that mistake now. Trust me, we pay for it.
However, money will not be a problem. Not with Todd Boehly.
We have signed a contract with a number of superstars. They didn’t click last season, but they are coming along well now that Mauricio Pochettino is in charge.
You want to play in the Champions League. So do we. That will be resolved after next season and if history tells you anything, it’s that this is a club that wins trophies.
Just ask your friend Mason Mount (even if you don’t ask him why he might go to Manchester United).
Exciting times ahead for Chelsea. Don’t miss out on being part of what we feel will be a trophy-laden era.
MANCHESTER CITY’S SALE SITE
Don’t you want to come to a club that can guarantee you medals for your mantle? Don’t you want to work with the great master of football, Pep Guardiola? Don’t you want to win?
If the answer to all these questions is ‘yes please’, then City is the club for you. We are the treble winning team that only hungers for more trophies and you can help us do that.
You got more balls than any other Premier League player last season. You made the most interceptions of anyone. Only our own Rodri ranked higher than you for total carries.
You did all that for a team that averaged 41 percent possession last season.
Guardiola’s City keep the ball so you can focus on being more creative, a side to your game that has improved a lot in the last year.
But on the rare occasion that we’re out of possession, we’re confident you can get it back to us in no time because there’s no one better in the Premier League to do it than you.
You may be concerned about playing time. Don’t be. In the hunt for any trophy there is, there will be plenty of room for both you and Rodri.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You could play together as midfielders. You could do what John Stones has done. You can improve your attacking insight with Guardiola’s guidance and show your full repertoire.
That would be monstrous! As we said at the start of this sales pitch, if you want to win, come to City.
MANCHESTER UNITED’S SALES PITCH
Haven’t you read the news? We are being bought out.
We are already the biggest club in the world and we will only get bigger. We will be ‘massive’, to borrow West Ham’s favorite word.
Now is the ideal time to join United and we clearly need someone like you in midfield.
Why go to one of these other 4-3-3 teams when we already play 4-2-3-1?
You know how to play with a midfielder after partnering Tomas Soucek at West Ham for so long. You can seamlessly step into the dual pivot at the heart of our team.
Perhaps we are considered the outsiders in this four-horse race. There has been talk about how much we can – or rather cannot – spend this summer. You don’t have to worry about that. All you need to know is that your name is on our list of targets.
United are on the verge of bigger and better things. We want to get back to our winning ways. And if that’s not tempting enough, we can even bring in your best friend, Mount.