Manchester City have been hit with a significant blow in their hopes of signing Declan Rice this summer, courtesy of a third Arsenal bid for the England star.
The Premier League champions made their first official approach for the 24-year-old defensive midfielder on Monday night, lodging a total package of £90 million for the West Ham captain with £80 million of the proposal coming as a guaranteed fee.
However, the threat of City in the race for Rice was always expected to intensify Arsenal’s position even further, after the Gunners had already seen two official offers rejected by London Stadium officials.
Now, in the latest development, those working on a potential deal within the Etihad Stadium have been hit by a significant test and perhaps blow in their hopes of securing their number one Ilkay Gundogan replacement, following a third bid from Arsenal chiefs.
According to the information of David Ornstein, Arsenal have now made an improved bid worth up to £105 million for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, comprising of an initial fee of £100 million and an extra £5 million in add-ons.
It remains to be seen how Manchester City will respond to the latest development from within the Emirates Stadium, with officials working on transfers known to be happy to walk away from deals if valuations exceed their own thoughts.
Last summer, City worked hard on a deal for Spain international left-back Marc Cucurella, but were prevented from signing the player after Brighton & Hove Albion demanded in excess of £60 million for a player Etihad chiefs only valued at £40 million.
Declan Rice could now be a repeat of that scenario, however Manchester City are understood to be very keen on the services of the England international, and could provide West Ham with a competitive bid that offers a guaranteed fee in a shorter period of time to Arsenal.
Developments on the West Ham captain come on the same day that City announced the signing of Chelsea and Croatia international Mateo Kovacic, for a fee rising up to £30 million after potential add-ons have been hit.
Kovacic is expected to operate in a more advanced midfield role for Pep Guardiola, and has chosen the number eight shirt at the club – succeeding former captain Ilkay Gundogan, who has finalised a deal to join FC Barcelona.
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