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Arsenal ‘close to £92m Declan Rice agreement’ as West Ham win European trophy 3 hours ago

Arsenal are reportedly closing in on an agreement to sign Declan Rice from West Ham in a record deal said to be worth £92million. Rice has been strongly linked with leaving the Hammers all season long with the midfielder rejecting multiple contract offers from the east London club.

West Ham had previously held a strong stance on not letting Rice leave in previous windows, but they’ve softened in recent weeks. And there was a sense that Rice was bidding an emotional farewell in the Europa Conference League final with the England international leading West Ham to glory over Fiorentina.

Rice refused to give any indication on what his immediate plans are after the final, but the Telegraph claim Arsenal are now pushing for a deal to be done. It’s reported both Bayern Munich and Manchester United are also showing a strong interest in signing Rice, but Arsenal are the ‘frontrunners’.

And the report states Arsenal ‘have moved a step closer’ to agreeing a deal worth £92m for Rice.

West Ham are also said to have identified the three players they want to sign using the money gained from Rice’s sale. Harvey Barnes and James Ward-Prowse are both targets with the English duo potentially available for cut-price figures after being relegated with Leicester and Southampton respectively.

The Hammers are also said to be hoping to win the race for Ajax star Edson Alvarez as the man they consider an ideal Rice replacement. West Ham aren’t alone in wanting to sign the defensive midfielder, with Borussia Dortmund also interested in making a move.

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Sullivan was asked on Thursday whether he thought the time was now for Rice to move on from West Ham. He said: “I think it has to be. We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going.

“You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season. In due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement – or several replacements. It’s not something we want to happen. We offered him £200,000-a-week 18 months ago. He turned it down.

“It’s cost him £10m to stay at West Ham in that time [in lost wages]. And he wants to go. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.”

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