Arsenal have been issued a fresh message over the fee they will have to pay for Declan Rice. West Ham boss David Moyes insists the midfielder will be “extremely expensive” following reports about the salary he would earn at the Emirates.
Rice put in a starring display for West Ham in their 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday. The England star has gone from strength to strength this season, leading to regular reports that he could be leaving the London Stadium this summer.
Rice’s contract at West Ham expires in 2024, although the club do have the option to extend it by a further year. Arsenal are confident of completing a deal for the 24-year-old former Chelsea academy player.
He currently earns £60,000 a week in east London. The Daily Star claims Arsenal would be prepared to quadruple his wages, taking his salary to a mega £240,000 a week.
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But if Arsenal think they can get Rice on the cheap because of his contract situation, they are sorely mistaken. Moyes has previously stated Rice would attract a British record transfer fee.
That currently stands at just under £107million following Enzo Fernandez’s move to Chelsea in January. After the win over West Ham, Moyes heaped praise on Rice’s performance.
He said: “Again, he was outstanding tonight but I thought we had some really big performers. No surprising me, he has got a great talent of regaining the ball.
“You’ve seen him play for England, you’ve seen the abilities he uses in recovering the ball and getting around people. He’s great across the ground, very quick. I’m pleased, but not surprised.”
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Asked if there’s an issue that Rice will catch the eye of other clubs, Moyes said: “Yes, that’s why he is probably the best English midfield player around and that is why he is going to be extremely expensive if anybody comes calling.”
Rice would likely break Arsenal’s record transfer fee if he does move across London. The Gunners’ most-expensive signing to date was the £72m acquisition of Nicolas Pepe in 2019.
He would also become one of the highest earners at Arsenal. Sportrac claims Gabriel Jesus is currently the best-paid player at the club at £265,000 a week.
Rice has played in 34 of West Ham’s 35 Premier League matches this season, not missing a single minute of the games he has featured in. He missed last week’s trip to Manchester City due to illness.
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