Newcastle ‘set to join’ Arsenal in ‘auction’ for midfielder with dream asking price ‘out of the question’

Date published: Saturday 4th February 2023 12:58 - Lewis Oldham

Newcastle fight for Rice

Newcastle United are reportedly ‘set to join’ Arsenal and Chelsea in the race to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice this summer.

The Hammers have done pretty well to keep Rice at the club until now but they are likely to let him go later this year.

Rice has grown into one of the best centre-midfielders in the Premier League as he has helped West Ham compete for a place in Europe in recent seasons.

But West Ham are enduring a difficult campaign this time around as they currently find themselves down in 16th in the Premier League.

Rice himself has openly admitted that he is looking to join a Champions League team in the near future so his time at West Ham looks to be coming to an end.

“100 per cent I want to play in the Champions League,” Rice admitted.

“I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing.

“I see my friends here, who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.

“You only get one career and at the end you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.”

Rice previously played for Chelsea at youth level so a move back to the Londoners has regularly been discussed over the past couple of years. Though a move to the Blues may be unlikely now that they have signed Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.

Arsenal have joined the race to sign Rice in recent weeks as it has been claimed that the England international is their top target heading into the summer transfer window. 

Football Insider are reporting that Arsenal and Chelsea are currently the sides in ‘pole position’ to sign Rice but Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd are also ‘interested’. Now Newcastle are ‘set to join’ the race.

West Ham are said to be ‘confident’ that they will be able to secure an £80m summer fee for Rice ‘as they are preparing for an elite-club auction for their man man’.

The London outfit have previously demanded over £100m for the centre-midfielder but this is now reportedly ‘out of the question’.

They seemingly view the summer as an opportune time to sell Rice as he is unlikely to sign a new contract. His current deal is up in 2024 but they have the option to extend this by a further year.

The report adds that a January transfer was ‘never a possibility’ but West Ham ‘do not intend to stand in his way’ this summer when rivals inevitably attempt to lure him away.

Arsenal are keen to sign a new midfielder. They attempted to sign Brighton’s Moises Caicedo in January but their attention may now divert back to Rice ahead of next season.

READ MORE: Transfer gossip… Newcastle enter Bellingham race as Juve consider drastic action over Pogba


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