Pundit sends Declan Rice warning to Arsenal

By on March 28, 2023


Former Arsenal forward turned pundit Paul Merson has said that Declan Rice is a ‘top player’ but suggests the Gunners’ should only spend up to £60m to land the West Ham midfielder.

The England international is heavily linked with a move away from the London Stadium ahead of the summer window. He has entered the final 16 months of his current contract and has rejected several proposals to sign an extension with David Moyes’ side in order to take the next step in his career. So, it is increasingly likely that the midfielder could leave the Hammers at the end of this season.

Arsenal have been mentioned as the most likely destination for the 24-year-old if he were to leave West Ham this summer. Mikel Arteta’s side are keen on bolstering their engine room by purchasing a new world-class midfielder and Rice has emerged as a priority target.

But, the Hammers have made it clear that they don’t want to sell their star man for a discount and want more than the British transfer record – which is £106m – fee to let the Englishman leave this summer.

However, Merson suggested that although Rice is a ‘top player’, he isn’t worth £100m and suggests up to £60m would be a more realistic price for the midfielder.

Merson gives verdict on Rice’s price tag

The pundit further claims that Rice is likely to leave West Ham this summer and this would be a perfect time for him to take the next step in his career. Merson also says that Arsenal could be an ideal destination for the 24-year-old if he moves to the Emirates Stadium in the summer.

Merson said (via Metro):

“The £100million price tag that’s been placed on his head really hasn’t helped him. Now his critics are saying ‘well he’s not worth £100m’ and the way that comes across, it’s like he’s not rated when he definitely is. I like Rice, he’s a top player but I think he’s worth closer to £50m or £60m. Kane is what I would consider a £100m player.

“My fellow pundits have said he doesn’t score enough goals but his game isn’t really about that, although I do think he would score more if he played in a more attacking team such as Arsenal. I expect Rice to leave West Ham in the summer, I don’t know who he will join, but it’s time for him to move on.”

It has previously been reported that Arsenal are looking to seal the deal for a fee of around £75m and they don’t want to overpay to sign him this summer.

So, it is going to be interesting to see whether Arsenal manage to persuade West Ham in lowering their valuation and sign Rice on their terms this summer.

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