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Manchester City will NOT bid again for Declan Rice

And the way is clear for Arsenal.

West Ham United v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Manchester City will not make a second bid for Declan Rice after Arsenal’s £100M + £5M in add-ons offer. There is still work to be done, but with the Gunners’ offer as the only one still on the table for West Ham, it’s a matter of details and time until Mikel Arteta gets his man.

The Hammers weren’t pleased with the third Arsenal bid, but the reports are that with the £100M valuation met, the framework is in place to finalize the deal. West Ham want more money up front and / or fewer payments to reach the total. Arsenal want to spread the fee out over as many years as they can. Edu & company will have to shift some money forward and that will be that — the deal will get done.

It should (but it won’t) put to bed a whole bunch of silly narratives about Arsenal, Edu, and Mikel Arteta. We can question how involved and committed Manchester City really were in the bidding, but Arsenal beat them to the marquee signing of the summer. Declan Rice, a young English superstar, in line to captain the England National Team, wanted to come to North London because of what Mikel Arteta is building. You cannot understate the magnitude of that. It indicates a seismic shift in the Premier League. Arsenal are BACK.

It’s a lot of money. The £105M fee will obliterate the Arsenal spending record (£72M for Nicolas Pépé) by a significant amount. The £33M difference is 45% of the total Pépé fee. Declan Rice will become the most expensive British player ever.

But the actual amount really doesn’t matter. As we’ve seen the past two summers, Arsenal haven’t spent on any particular player to the detriment of their spending elsewhere. That won’t change with Declan Rice — buying him won’t affect the rest of the summer business.

From an Arsenal perspective, who cares if it is £90M, £95M, or £100M? Mikel Arteta made Declan Rice his top priority. He’s shown that he knows what he’s doing both in the transfer market and on the pitch. Wherever the number ends up doesn’t change that. You get the manager his guy (within some level of limit).

And at the end of the day, if Declan Rice helps lead Arsenal to a Premier League title or a deep run in the Champions League (I’m not even going to dream about winning that competition...yet), nobody will care one iota what it cost to acquire him.

I’m giddy. I can’t wait for the “done deal” reports from the usual suspects. Rice’s announcement video is going to be something else. I’m ready to feel all of the things.