Arsenal legend Lee Dixon has raised questions about the Gunners’ interest in West Ham captain Declan Rice.
Mikel Arteta’s side are widely regarded as favourites to sign the England international this summer but, speaking to BettingSites.co.uk, Dixon said that he doesn’t believe his former team will spend £100m on the player, suggesting they may well be looking at other options:
“I don’t think Arsenal will pay £100 million. I don’t think he’s worth £100 million, to be honest. I think West Ham are going to want even more than that. I don’t know who Arsenal are looking at. But based on the way they’ve recruited so far I would suggest that they’ve got alternatives.”
“Maybe Rice is a bit of a smokescreen, and they’re not really that interested. I think he’s a really good player but I’m not convinced he will be at Arsenal next season.”
Rice will be a player in demand at the end of the season, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United also expected to enter the battle for the midfielder, so the Hammers are unlikely to offload their talisman on the cheap.
However, Dixon’s comments that Arsenal’s interest is just a “smokescreen” do appear to be wide of the mark. The Gunners were willing to pay as much as £70m for Moises Caicedo during the January transfer window, so you can’t rule out a club-record offer for Rice.
Saying that, though, if West Ham do demand an excessive price, you can see Arsenal pulling out of negotiations and seeking an alternative.