By Pete Hanson

24th May, 2023 | 7:10am

West Ham United: Declan Rice sends message to Bukayo Saka as Arsenal deal agreed

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice sent a message of congratulations to Bukayo Saka over his new Arsenal contract amid rumours he could soon join his England team-mate at the Emirates Stadium.

Saka put pen to paper on a new four-year deal with the Gunners on Tuesday (23 May), tying him to Arsenal until June 2027.

Rice’s own future is somewhat more unclear and he has been linked with a big-money move across London as Mikel Arteta aims to shape a squad ready to compete in the Champions League.

And Rice is sure to get tongues wagging after sending a response on Instagram to Saka, who had posted about his new contract.

“Congratulations brother, fully deserved,” Rice wrote in his four-word reply.

Don’t rush in Declan

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Some may have considered Arsenal to have “bottled” the Premier League title race this season but did anyone really expect them to be challenging before the campaign started?

It is still a pretty exciting time to be a Gunners fan, with a young, hungry and dynamic squad being assembled by Arteta, of which Saka is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown.

And yet, if you are Declan Rice are you absolutely sure leaving West Ham for Arsenal is the right move? It’s not a no-brainer that is for sure.

Rice will have no shortage of suitors for his signature in a summer transfer window where surely he will earn a deserved big-money move from the London Stadium.

He has shown plenty of loyalty to the Hammers but loyalty does not always mean trophies, he need only ask his Three Lions captain Harry Kane about that.

But nor does it mean he has to jump at the first offer that comes in. Being a player as talented as Rice affords you time, and it is time he should absolutely allow himself to make the best move for his career.