By Jonty Banks

20th Mar, 2023 | 8:10am

Arsenal and West Ham United news as Dharmesh Sheth shares Declan Rice exit update

Dharmesh Sheth believes West Ham United would value Declan Rice at £100million, and this could make it “really, really difficult” for Arsenal to sign both the Hammers captain and Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo this summer.

CBS journalist Ben Jacobs reported (18 March) that the Gunners were “confident” of winning the race for Rice’s signature in the summer for a fee of around £75million, with the 24-year-old out of contract at the London Stadium in June 2024.

However, having tabled a £60million bid for Caicedo in January and Mikel Arteta’s side looking to re-open negotiations with the Seagulls, the pricetag of Rice has come into question. [Sky Sports, 28 January]

Speaking to GiveMeSport, Sky Sports reporter Sheth admitted that Arsenal would be unlikely to spend their full budget on just two marquee signings who play in the same position when other areas of their squad need to be bolstered.

He said: “Would that mean no Moises Caicedo? It would be very, very difficult to get both. I’ve always said they would be in the market for both.

“But I just wonder if they were to bring in someone like Declan Rice, who would cost more than £60m-£80m depending on whom you listen to, and if you listen to West Ham, he’s a £100m player, then I think that that might be the budget that they use for the midfield area, and they’d still want to strengthen it in other areas as well.”

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Although Hammers fans are almost resigned to the fact Rice won’t be signing a new contract at the London Stadium, this news will come as some slight solace to them.

The main worry about losing Rice will be the price tag the board can demand for his services. If West Ham can broker the right deal, it could help replace the England midfielder and strengthen in several other areas of the pitch,

West Ham’s valuation of £100million that Sheth reports is, therefore, a promising update. Anything below this fee would ultimately be a disappointing outcome for the club. Rice is a future England captain in the making and ultimately has a higher ceiling than Caicedo.

The board must look to the way that Aston Villa stuck to their guns with the sale of Jack Grealish to Manchester City for £100million and learn a few lessons from this deal.

The Villans gave themselves a big enough war chest, but more importantly, enough time in the summer transfer window to replace Grealish and improve their squad elsewhere.