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Declan Rice’s meeting with Pep Guardiola revealed amid intensified Man City and Arsenal battle



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The in-demand West Ham United captain Declan Rice met with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola towards the end of last season, it has been revealed.

The Premier League champions and last season’s treble winners formalised their interest in the England international midfielder on Monday night, submitting a package offer of £90 million to West Ham United.

The proposal, which was made up of an initial £80 million with a further £10 million in add-ons, is understood to have been swiftly rejected by London Stadium transfer chiefs, who continue to hold out for a fee closer to their £100 million valuation.

In recent weeks, the main understanding in the media has been that Rice would only be interested in a move elsewhere in London. However, a new detail reported by the Guardian this week proves his interest in the possibility of becoming a Manchester City player.

As per a report from Jacob Steinberg, originally detailing Manchester City’s opening bid for the 24-year-old, Declan Rice met Etihad head coach Pep Guardiola towards the end of last season.

The report goes on to refer to sources, who stated on Monday night that Manchester City would find a way of getting a deal done for the player who has quickly emerged as Arsenal’s priority transfer target this summer.

Elsewhere and City officials are continuing to push for another high-profile, big-money transfer this summer, as they pursue a total agreement for RB Leipzig and Croatia international centre-back Josko Gvardiol.

It is understood that the Bundesliga side will hold out for a fee closer to €100 million, while City would ideally look to secure the player’s services at a lower fee with add-ons included in the package to take the overall amount towards what is being desired in Germany.

Mateo Kovacic is this week expected to be announced as a Manchester City player too, joining the Premier League champions from Chelsea in a £30 million deal, signing a four-year deal and taking the number 8 shirt – formally occupied by Ilkay Gundogan, who has joined FC Barcelona.