By Sam Stone

16th Mar, 2023 | 12:10pm

Journalist makes 'strong' Declan Rice to Arsenal claim, June West Ham United exit on the cards

Former Bleacher Report journalist Dean Jones has suggested Arsenal will make a June offer for Declan Rice as the West Ham United’s captain’s future remains uncertain.

According to The Times (28 February), Rice could cost around £80million in the summer transfer window.

It’s understood the American-owned Gunners are now growing more confident of landing the 24-year-old and Jones has suggested when their summer bid could arrive.

“They won’t let go of this without making a strong attempt at getting Declan Rice,” said Jones (GIVEMESPORT, 15 March).

“It’s not yet clear when they’ll look to make their opening offer, but I would imagine it’s going to be around June time that they’ll look to make their first moves with this transfer, just so they understand exactly where they stand.”

Matter of time

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It’s only a matter of time before Rice finally departs the London Stadium. This season’s failure has meant the board will almost certainly cash in on their star man when the summer window opens.

If West Ham were fighting towards the top end of the table, then there would’ve been a slim chance of Rice staying put. However, a player of his calibre simply has to be playing in the Champions League. He’s been a standout performer in the latter stages of major competitions and cannot risk another season struggling near the foot of the table.

A move to Arsenal would seem the most sensible decision from the England international. The Gunners are flying near the top of the Premier League and will almost certainly be playing Champions League football in the 2023/24 season.

Chelsea have also been long-term admirers, but their floundering campaign could result in Rice opting to move to North London instead – this is certainly one to watch.