Liverpool make preliminary contact to sign Declan Rice
Liverpool have made “preliminary contact” with West Ham over Declan Rice ahead of potential summer move but Arsenal remain in pole position to sign the midfielder, according to journalist Rudy Galletti.
The SportItalia journalist claims that Rice and Alexis Mac Allister are top of the list for Liverpool as they look to bolster their midfield options in the summer. The first preliminary contacts have begun with West Ham and Brighton for these two midfielders.
Rice is almost certain to leave the Hammers in the summer transfer window and Galletti claims that Liverpool have now opened talks with West Ham over a potential deal.
“Liverpool have several names on their midfielder list. At the top, certainly, is Declan Rice and Alexis Mac Allister. The first preliminary contacts have begun with both West Ham and Brighton. For both players, the competition is fierce,” said Galletti to Give Me Sport.
However, Arsenal are thought to be leading the race for Rice’s signature as Galletti claimed on Twitter that the Gunners remain in ‘pole position’ to sign the England midfielder.
Mikel Arteta is looking to strengthen his options in the middle of the park as he looks to build a squad capable of competing on all fronts next season and Rice is Arsenal’s prime target.
However, it looks like the Gunners face stiff competition from Liverpool. After a disappointing campaign, a midfield reshuffle is necessary for the Reds. The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner are set to leave, and new additions are necessary to make the squad better.
West Ham are resigned to losing their skipper but they want to make sure they extract the best possible transfer fee for their star midfielder. As per ESPN, it will require a fee of around £100m to lure Rice away from the London stadium so Arsenal and Liverpool will need to be prepared to dig deep.
However, it looks unlikely that the Merseysiders will pay that amount for Rice. Liverpool backed away from the race for Jude Belligham because he was too expensive, and it won’t make sense for them to spend £100m on the 24-year-old midfielder either.
Rice is a class player, but the money needs to be spent wisely at Anfield. Moreover, he would love to stay in London which means a move to Arsenal is more likely this summer.