Have Arsenal upped Rice bid amid delays? And new Gunners signing sent Man Utd ‘message’

There’s plenty of Declan Rice and Arsenal guff, but also a claim that Jordan Henderson moving to Saudi Arabia ‘is around more than just £700,000 a week’.

Breaking news
Let’s start with the biggest story in all of football on Friday lunchtime (according to The Sun website):

Lionel Messi loads up on jumbo packs of American cereal as he poses for selfies with stunned fans at Miami’s supermarket

Sounds about right.

All hands in Dec
Apparently it’s Declan Rice Day. Congratulations, folks. We’ve made it. After all the bids, glances and payment structure chats, Arsenal are preparing to announce the signing of the club record at some point on Friday.

Unfortunately, that means there are only so many more clicks left to squeeze out of a story that will lose all its intrigue when the midfielder is pictured wearing a Gunners shirt while holding a Gunners shirt.

But in these desperate last ditches we get a genius like this from Daily Express website:

Arsenal rob Chelsea of ​​their next John Terry thanks to Frank Lampard error

Is it possible to ‘deprive’ someone of something they never had? And yes, Chelsea released Rice as a teenager, but that had nothing to do with Arsenal; It is solely about his transfer from West Ham in 2023, which the Blues have absolutely nothing to do with.

It’s fun to be reminded of how Frank Lampard literally got himself fired by constantly asking Chelsea to sign Rice, mind. Although the ‘next John Terry’ thing is strange. Is every Blues captain doomed to face that comparison?

Other places are London Evening Standard go with:

Jorginho prompts Declan Rice transfer to delay signing as fans get frustrated

The ‘recording’? ‘”Good question. No idea”, along with three laughing emojis.’ More as we get it.

But the gold star goes as usual Daily Mirror website:

Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes sends message to Declan Rice ahead of Arsenal transfer

This is the good stuff. And the opening paragraph only ramps things up further by saying that Fernandes ‘has heaped praise on’ the England international.

Practically enough, it’s all contained in this single Instagram post:

Eight words, none of which directly relate to Rice. But he was there and so we’ve conveniently sent him a Man Utd ‘message’, coincidentally at the exact time people will be searching for his name.

Did Fernandes also send a message to Joao Cancelo and Rafael Leao? Because Mediawatch can’t find these stories for some reason.

The sky is the limit
As for Rice’s move to Arsenal, everything has been set in stone for weeks. The fee, the bonuses, the length of the contract, the salary – it was all reported long ago and has been public knowledge ever since.

So any change to these details will inevitably cause a spike in interest, which brings us to this tweet from Sky Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg:

The £120m jumps out at once, given that a drastic increase in the fee of 105 million GBP as indicated by David Ornstein and Jacob Steinberg – the most reliable of all journalists when it comes to Arsenal and West Ham respectively – as well as any other journalist.

And there is no blame on Plettenberg here. It appears to be a simple mistake in terms of symbols: €120 million, or £102.7 million, would be far more accurate.

But despite the obvious and understandable nature of such an obvious mistake, some businesses need no excuse to pretend there has been a major change to the deal.

‘Declan Rice completes Arsenal transfer today as Gunners finally get deal worth up to £120m over the line’ – Goal.com.

“The Sky Sports Deutschland pundit has also revealed that the amount Arsenal are spending on Rice could rise to £120m with add-ons, despite most reports claiming the deal would be worth £100m up front with £ 5m in additions” – TEAM talk.

‘Arsenal will now pay £120m plus add-ons to sign West Ham United star Declan Rice – Sky Sports journalist’ – West Ham Zone.

Wait until someone realizes that you can make an even bigger but actually exactly the same number by converting it to yen.

Yard-knock life
Away from Rice, an actual Arsenal midfielder captured the imagination on Thursday with a delightful own goal in a pre-season friendly. But there is a little disagreement about the finer details:

‘JOR JOKING Watch Jorginho score 30-yard own goal as fans joke ‘oh Arsenal, I’ve missed you’ – The Sun website.

“Video: Jorginho scores embarrassing 35-yard own goal in Arsenal pre-season draw” – Caught offside.

‘Jorginho left red-faced after scoring bizarre 40-yard own goal in Arsenal friendly’ – Daily Mirror website.

Give it an hour and it will have been from inside his own half.

End of the line
“Liverpool won’t let Henderson go cheap as they demand stunning fee from Saudis with captain set to fetch £700,000-A-WEEK” screams the headline from Charlie Wyett to a piece in The sun. And if anyone has the inside scoop on Liverpool transfers, it’s The Sun.

But this ‘fantastic fee’ is soon downgraded to ‘a decent fee’ in the third tier, which is an understatement if they want £20m for a 33-year-old.

Of course, this is not about money. Neither the fee Liverpool want nor the salary Henderson would get. ‘Henderson’s potential move to the Middle East is about more than just £700,000 a week,’ writes Wyett.


The Liverpool midfielder could become the first top-flight English player to take the Saudi wedge.

It would be a significant coup for the Saudi regime to land a player who has been so outspoken about LGBTQ+ rights in the Gulf region.

And a move for Henderson could also have a huge knock-on effect for England’s European Championship campaign.

It reinforces the idea that – at least in Henderson’s case – it wouldn’t be “around more than just £700,000 a week” at all. What else tempts him to burnish his England’s future and status as an LGBTQ+ ally?

READ MORE: Liverpool captain for GAME CHANGER in Saudi Arabia (if you forget Benzema and Neves)

Talk and cheese
That Daily Mirror website promises to bring us ‘Inside Jordan, Henderson and Jurgen Klopp talk as Liverpool count cost of Saudi millions’. And anyone familiar with that business knows that they are about to do no such thing.

There is a single mention of possible ‘conversations’ between Henderson and Klopp. You know, the powerful chat that we are about to be allowed “inside”. And here it is:

But when Klopp and Henderson sat down for talks on Thursday, after the first reports emerged that the 33-year-old was leaning towards accepting the proposal put to him by Al-Ettifaq, there would have been a silence acceptance of what had brought them both here.

No need to wish we were a fly on the wall when Mark Jones is scurrying around for these treats.

Flirting Harry
Wyett off The sun seems to struggle with the concept of economy when it comes to English players, as his exclusive on Harry Kane shows.

He is currently on a basic salary of £200,000 a week, although this rises to up to £300,000 a week with bonuses.

Still, Bayern have the money to comfortably beat that amount…

Mediawatch does not doubt for a second that Bayern have many things to offer that Spurs simply do not, and a great chance of winning trophies is chief among them. But it is hard to believe that Bayern can “comfortably” offer their players higher wages than a Big Six Premier League team.

As Wyett himself immediately points out, ‘Spurs have a new deal ready to go if Kane wants to sign it’. And that’s worth a hyphen-less reported £400,000 a week, which is more than Bayern have ever paid any player. Robert Lewandowski never got that much – nor did he cost around £100m to sign in the first place.

Where there is a will…
Another Sun exclusive comes from Andy Dillon, who has the scoop on Willian.

WILLIAN has taken a step closer to the exit door at Fulham after failing to turn up for pre-season training.

Willian has already gone through the exit door at Fulham, man. The guy is a free agent. And while he might re-sign, does his current employment status preclude him from participating in training?

The Brazilian winger was absent as most of the squad reported back to duty in readiness for the new Premier League season.

Was the Brazilian winger expected to appear? Because it’s not actually made clear at any point.

Willian, 34, is out of contract and is therefore technically not obliged to come in after rejecting the offer of a new deal.

By ‘technically not committed’ do you mean not committed at all because he doesn’t play for them?

But sources at Fulham were hopeful he would be persuaded to sign on for another 12 months – until this twist.

What ‘twist’?! He’s a free agent!

Hopefully the ‘Craven Cottage insider’ that Dillon quotes can clear things up.

“There was a sense that eventually he would see sense and agree to stay on. But this turn of events makes the club feel a little less confident about him coming back.”

Mediawatch notes that the quote has absolutely nothing to do with Willian not turning up for training. Presumably because the free agent has no obligation to do so. What a ‘twist’ that is.

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