Arsenal have made West Ham United’s Declan Rice their main target for the summer, according to football.london.
However, Sky Sports reports that the Hammers have set a £120 million price tag on their skipper, or £100 million plus a player.
The 24-year-old midfielder, who is also wanted by Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool, is believed to favour a move to the Gunners, who will play in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Rice has openly expressed his ambition to play in Europe’s elite competition. He said six months ago: “I definitely want to play in the Champions League.”
“For the last two or three years I’ve been saying that. 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 has only one year left on his deal with West Ham this summer, but the Hammers can keep him for another year by activating a clause in his contract.
FA will demand answers if West Ham do this with ‘Chaos’ already cited
The Daily Mail reports that the Football Association are seeking guarantees from UEFA that the Europa Conference League final will be safe if West Ham United make it.
The final will be held at the Eden Arena in Prague on 7 June, which can hold 20,800 people.
There are worries that many Hammers fans will travel to the city without a ticket, creating safety risks of overcrowding.
“The FA and Metropolitan Police are concerned that the Europa Conference League final could present a public order risk if West Ham reach the showpiece in Prague’s 20,800-capacity Eden Arena,” Matt Hughes wrote for the Daily Mail (Page 59, 9 May).
“If the Hammers progress there are fears thousands of ticketless supporters will descend on the Czech capital. Around 10,000 West Ham fans without tickets attended last year’s Europa League semi-final defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt, which led to violent scenes in the city with travelling supporters attacked by Eintracht Frankfurt ultras.
“The FA will demand assurances from UEFA that the event can be run safely if West Ham qualify, particularly given the chaos that marred Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid in Paris last season, which an independent report deemed was ‘the primary responsibility’ for UEFA.”
West Ham are looking forward to an exciting few weeks, as they start their quest for a place in the Europa Conference League final by playing Dutch team AZ Alkmaar at home in the semi-final first leg on Thursday (11 May).
The London Stadium will be buzzing, not only because of the game ahead but also because they have just seen their team beat Manchester United 1-0, with that result on Sunday (7 May) virtually ensuring their Premier League survival.
While they are not safe yet by the numbers, the win for David Moyes over his old side will have eased a lot of pressure on him.
Premier League safety will still be important, but the manager can now concentrate more of his effort on another great performance against AZ Alkmaar in front of the Hammers fans.
But West Ham reaching the final will certainly be a concern for the FA, who will not want a similar situation to what happened with Liverpool fans in Paris at all.
Thankfully, UEFA have some time to spare between now and the final to hopefully set up the stage properly in case West Ham fans will be there.