West Ham owner all but sanctions Rice’s Arsenal move…


Let’s trade congratulatory messages to set the right tone, shall we? Congratulations to West Ham for winning the Europa Conference League trophy, the club’s first major trophy in 43 years. Congratulations to David Moyes for winning the first major trophy of his managerial career. Congratulations to us, apparently, from West Ham owner David Sullivan for showing our class and and restraint in waiting until the Hammers finished their season before bidding for the player.

Asked if the Hammers victory over Fiorentina would be Rice’s last match for West. Ham, Sullivan said “I think it has to be. We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going. You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season. In due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement – or several replacements. We offered him £200,000-a-week 18 months ago. He turned it down. It’s cost him £10million to stay at West Ham in that time [in lost wages]. And he wants to go.”

That’s a pretty direct statement. He’s probably shown in the picture above both congratulating Rice and bidding him farewell. That’s got to be a bittersweet moment.

At our end, it seems that Sullivan appreciates our restraint. Sullivan was also asked if he had received any bids before the ECL final. “No. But I think the offers will start to come today. There are three or four clubs who have shown interest, but out of respect to West Ham, while we’re still playing, you don’t make offers for players. That’s not the way decent clubs do things.”

Okay, so that’s less-direct; he’s admitted that there are several clubs interested but that none have submitted bids, so it’s not as if we’re knights in shining armour over here while the others are a bunch of Snidely Whiplash types. Still, it seems that we may have learned a lesson or two after our overly-aggressive pursuit of Caicedo back in January. One advantage that we may have over Rice’s other suitors is Arteta’s close relationship with David Moyes, dating back to their time together at Everton. Arteta made 209 appearances under Moyes and has spoken effusively of his admiration for his former manager.

Let’s hope he can build on that and off of the positive impression he and Edu seem to have made on Sullivan. It’s a bit worrisome to see other clubs make moves (such as Mac Allister joining Liverpool for what seems like a pittance), but we’ll just have to trust the process.

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8 thoughts on “West Ham owner all but sanctions Rice’s Arsenal move…

  1. roger holcombe

    I don’t think Sullivan isStupid Financially; However I have doubts about his sanity letting Declan Rice go anywhere in the PL.
    If he must go
    abroad to Bayern Real or Barca but not to adirect Rival in the PL

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      fair point – although he may also see that the gap between West Ham and the top six is simply too vast. Numerous reports suggest that Rice wants to stay in England, so Sullivan may simply have to work with that limitation while doing what’s best for the club.They’ll have Europa League to play next season, which will bring in more money and may attract solid replacements.

    2. Eoin

      Rice has been consistent in his desire to stay in the PL. He just had a kid a year ago or something, and it’s not like Sullivan is selling to a direct rival these days.

  2. jw1

    Though, am seeing from several sources in the echo chamber– where personal terms have been agreed by Arsenal with both Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo.

    The clubs against whom we’ll be bidding? Each have various obstacles– where £80-90M players may not be their first best moves. ManU’s ownership issue. Chelsea needs a fire-sale before buying (and no CL). Bayern will not drop that amount on any one player.

    Arsenal seem uniquely positioned to make their deals of choice– and quickly. With Arteta’s adherence to gaining advantage in any manner possible– having business wrapped before preseason in July carries its own value.

    Thinking Edu will push to land both Rice and Caicedo this month.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      I’ve seen similar rumours. Sullivan’s remark about Rice rejecting £200k/wk has me a bit nervous – would he expect a pay rise or would £200/wk feel different at Arsenal, given the chance to win bigger trophies & play UCL football? In the end, I tell myself to trust Edu, Arteta and (gasp) Kroenke to keep the finances sorted.

      As you say, we have these advantages, and it would be great to see us get a signing or two early in the window, both to get those players bedded in and to trigger a knock-on effect of sorts. Signing Rice early would show other targets that we’re ambitious and that they may want to accelerate their own talks with us.

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