By George Overhill

20th May, 2023 | 10:10am

West Ham United transfer news: Declan Rice exit set to cause 'internal war' between David Moyes and board amid Arsenal talks

West Ham are facing “internal war” over the proposed sale of Declan Rice to Arsenal with the board and the manager having very different priorities, according to Football Transfers.

The Gunners are believed to already be in talks over signing the Hammers captain, but while David Moyes has repeatedly asserted that Rice will be worth over £100million, sources have told the outlet that the figure likely won’t reach that level.

Agreement with Mikel Arteta’s side is still “extensive negotiations” away, but it is reported that the Irons board are targeting an up-front cash amount of between £85million and £95million.

The hierarchy at the London Stadium prioritise the structure of the deal, with the amount offered in the initial lump sum making the deal more attractive to them the higher it is.

On the other hand Moyes is more interested in a part-exchange deal that will land him options to improve his squad instantly, with conflict behind the scenes now mooted as a result.

Apples and oranges

Assuming Rice leaves this summer, and it certainly seems likely but there is potentially the outside chance that Europa Conference League glory changes that, he is going to cost a lot.

Having a major asset at the club who has perpetually been the subject of transfer speculation involving some of the biggest sides in the richest league in the world is inevitably going to lead to big amounts as the target fee.

It would be disappointing if the board undersold the England star on the way out, but while it is hard not to compare Rice to the British-record deal for Chelsea to sign Enzo Fernandez for £106million in January it isn’t the same situation.

They may both be central midfielders, but even allowing for the so-called English tax and the fact that Rice is Premier League proven, Fernandez was only six months into his deal at Benfica and had just won the World Cup a month earlier.

Prizing anyone out of their club in that situation would be pricy, and while there is no chance that the Hammers captain is going to be a bargain to anyone, one year left on his contract and an option for one more, with a history of making his wish to play in the Champions League, does make it tougher for West Ham.

That said, there doesn’t seem to be the need for too much internal strife if the club can get a solid fee, because a decent amount is bound to go back into funding incoming transfers either way.

It may be a sign that the board is minded to move on from Moyes that they want the cash rather than players he rates at the Emirates, but again, lifting the Conference League trophy might change that.

If he has to he could go straight back to Arsenal and try to sign the players he wants anyway, so “internal war” seems an unnecessary outcome.