Man Utd's stance on hijacking Declan Rice to Arsenal transfer as Gunners 'ready new bid'

West Ham are resigned to losing their captain Declan Rice this summer, who has attracted interest from a host of top teams both in the Premier League and Europe. Arsenal are reportedly the frontrunners to land the England midfielder, but have so far failed to meet the Hammers’ asking price.

David Moyes’ outfit are looking for a British record fee for Rice and will hope that a bidding war commences between the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City. Those three along with Chelsea do hold a vested interest in the 24-year-old and are on the lookout for midfield additions this summer.

After Arsenal had their opening bid rejected out of hand by West Ham, they are preparing to lodge a second offer with a financial package that better suits his current employers. However, the Gunners will be wary of their rivals looking to gazump them after being beaten to Mykhaylo Mudryk by Chelsea despite the winger’s multiple social media posts hinting that he was desperate for a move to the Emirates.

Though a Mudryk repeat now seems unlikely as the Evening Standard have claimed that Rice is intent on joining Mikel Arteta’s side and will not encourage any approaches from other teams. United alongside City and Chelsea were expected to rival Arsenal’s interest, but will no longer be proactive in doing so unless negotiations collapse with the Gunners.

Rice previously dropped what some sections of supporters felt was a transfer hint after gushing over Old Trafford following West Ham’s 1-0 defeat away to United last year. “I was loving it,” Rice said post-match. “Every time I come to Old Trafford, I've always said it's one of my favourite places to play. It's an amazing stadium.”

Instead it looks like Rice will be visiting the Theatre of Dreams next in an Arsenal kit, unless the Gunners are unable to agree a fee with West Ham. The Hammers’ valuation remains at the £120m mark, having turned down a bid of £80m and add-ons from Arsenal according to Sky Sports.

United instead appear to have turned their attention to Rice’s international colleague Mason Mount, having prepared a second bid for the Chelsea star though it is still below the Blues’ £70million valuation.

Erik ten Hag appears to want a more forward-thinking midfielder in the ilk of Mount as opposed to Rice who can operate in forwards areas, possibly indicating a slight change of formation with Casemiro playing alongside Bruno Fernandes and another attacking midfielder as opposed to Christian Eriksen who often played in a deeper role.

Leaving Rice to likely make the short journey to north London instead, where he will be facing United next season with the Red Devils deciding against a hijack.

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