Declan Rice: Inside the crowbarred Manchester United and Chelsea links to £100m Arsenal move

Editor F365
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice battles with Manchester United's Casemiro
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice battles with Manchester United's Casemiro

Declan Rice is pretty much an Arsenal player but what’s missing? A pointless comparison with Casemiro obviously…


Let’s go inside…
Once a transfer is completed or edges closer to completion, interest in that deal dissipates. So if you’re an outlet like the Mirror, you have to find new angles. And some of those new angles require a f*** of a lot of gymnastics. So on Declan Rice’s imminent move to Arsenal:

Inside Chelsea’s failed Declan Rice bid after releasing West Ham star for three reasons

Did Chelsea make a bid for Declan Rice this summer? Nope.

Have Chelsea made a bid for Declan Rice before? We don’t know and we’re damned sure the Mirror’s Kieran King doesn’t know either.

The sum total of his journey ‘inside Chelsea’s failed Declan Rice bid’ is some gushing Maurizio Sarri quotes from 2019 and the ever-yawnsome tales of him being rather good friends with Mason Mount. It all feels a bit ‘outside’.

They are happy to mine an old Athletic piece from 2020 for the ‘three reasons’ Rice was initially released by Chelsea but seem to have missed the part where they detailed that Chelsea ‘aimed to make him their last big signing in the previous window, but no bid was forthcoming because they were unable to sell the fringe players required to raise the revenue for his signature’.

It’s almost like there was never a bid to get ‘inside’ at all.

Still, at least King did not stoop as low as colleague Tom Blow with this doozy…

Jack Wilshere has shared inside knowledge on “unbelievable” Declan Rice with Mikel Arteta

There’s clearly been a memo about the word ‘inside’.

That ‘inside knowledge’ on Rice amounted to these words, which could only have been uttered by somebody who has seen Declan Rice at close quarters:

“He can go all the way, he’s unbelievable. Left foot, right foot and he’s a great lad. Love you, Dec!”

Without Wilshere’s insight – ‘shared’ with Mikel Arteta – that Rice has both a left foot and a right foot, Arsenal would probably not be paying £100m for the West Ham captain right now.

How lucky that Arteta was watching the Instagram Live with Wilshere back in 2020 when this deep ‘inside knowledge’ was shared.


Add-on and on and on and on
Over at Sky Sports, they ask the question:

Declan Rice: How does Arsenal’s £105m bid for West Ham midfielder compare to most expensive in history?

And then answer it incorrectly:

Arsenal’s third bid of £105m will make Declan Rice the most expensive British transfer ever

Nope. Enzo Fernandez exists and moved for more a whole five months ago.

There is also more repetition of this particular strain of bollocks:

Jude Bellingham became the most expensive English player of all time when he made the £115m move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid earlier this month.

He really didn’t; he moved for around £88m. He will only end up costing £115m if he stays at Real Madrid and wins all of the things. They will certainly hope he becomes the most expensive English player of all time but for now, that honour still belongs to Jack Grealish.

Should Rice’s move to the Emirates materialise, he will become the second most expensive ever, costing £5m more than the £100m Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in August 2021.

Nope. He will have cost exactly the same as Grealish. Add-ons are not called add-ons because they are just added on to the price to make really big f***ing numbers.


You’re an embarrassment
But do you know what is missing from all the Declan Rice coverage? Manchester United, that’s what. But fear not, because the Express are here with this absolute belter:

Casemiro leaves Declan Rice and Arsenal red-faced as £105m transfer edges closer

And how exactly does five-times Champions League winner Casemiro ‘leave Declan Rice and Arsenal red-faced’?

The answer really is quite spectacular.

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has left Arsenal red-faced as they close in on a record-breaking deal for Declan Rice. The Brazilian outdid his English counterpart in a host of Premier League statistics last season.

Mediawatch is absolutely astonished to discover that world-class midfielder and silverware hoarder Casemiro ‘outdid’ West Ham captain and recent winner of the Europa Conference League Declan Rice in some key metrics last season.

Imagine how embarrassed Arsenal will be when they realise that they are spending £100m on a 23-year-old player who is not yet as good as Casemiro. Is it too late to call the whole thing off?

Arsenal supporters are understandably ecstatic as they close in on the signing. However, a comparison with Casemiro could be something of a reality check.

It really could because every Arsenal fan presumed they were signing the best player in the world.

Casemiro attempted 89 tackles to Rice’s 79 and won 46 to Rice’s 38. He made 60 clearances, five more than Rice and 10 more headed clearances.

Casemiro is also better than Rice when it comes to aerial battles won. He won 56, 19 more than Rice’s tally of 37.

All pretty damning evidence that there are certain aspects of football at which brilliant midfielder Casemiro excels.

Mediawatch has a few little nuggets too:

Rice made 63 interceptions last season (the most in the Premier League) to Casemiro’s 34.

Rice recovered 334 loose balls last season (the most in the Premier League) to Casemiro’s 205.

Who’s been left red-faced now?

Is the answer ‘nobody’ because Declan Rice’s transfer has absolutely nothing to do with Manchester United?