Manchester City have submitted a formal bid to West Ham for Declan Rice, per David Ornstein. The offer is not much of an improvement on Arsenal’s most recent rejected bid — City have offered £80 + £10M in add-ons compared to £75M + £15M in add-ons. It’s a bit more money upfront but the same total, and it still falls short of West Ham’s reported £100M valuation. So much for that bidding war that West Ham wanted, right?
Manchester City’s offer reads more like they’re trying to mess with Arsenal, to get the Gunners to spend a bit more to get their top target rather than demonstrating genuine interest in the player. It feels like if City were serious about signing Rice, they would at least improve the bottom line total of the bid by a few quid to show some intent.
It still appears as if it will come down to where Declan Rice wants to play football next season and going forward. Manchester City can and will probably offer him a bit better wages, but as I’ve said before, he’ll just be another cog in the City machine. They’ve already got Rodri and Kalvin Phillips in his position — he won’t come close to starting every match. It won’t be his team nor will he have the chance to make it his team because once it stops being Kevin De Bruyne’s club, Erling Haaland will pick up the standard.
City won the treble. There really isn’t much more to achieve. The quadruple, I suppose. But does anybody really care about adding the Carabao Cup to the haul for a single season? Anything that Declan Rice manages at Manchester City will be compared to and likely fall short of the accomplishments of the 2022-23 team. He can’t really take them any higher than they already are.
At Arsenal, Rice would immediately be one of the most important players on the team, a powerful voice in the locker room, and a leader on the pitch. He’ll be one of the first names on the team sheet every match of consequence. It’s been said that he might even wind up with the captain’s armband at some point, despite Martin Ødegaard wearing it this past season and still being on the team. Rice would have the chance to help lead a club back to the promised land after years in the wilderness and to become a legend in the process.
If Declan Rice wants a challenge, he’ll pick Arsenal. If he wants to have it easy, he’ll go to Manchester City. Arsenal will come back with a third bid. I’m still confident that they’ll get the deal done, mostly because of all the reporting about how much Declan Rice wants to move to North London (and stay in London) and because I’m not convinced Manchester City are truly serious about signing him. The next few days will likely tell the tale.