THIS Arsenal bid for Rice goes to 11…times £10,000,000!


Amid news that West Ham have rejected Man City’s “embarrassing” bid for Declan Rice, the one that matched our own £90m but offered better add-ons and a pay structure more suitable to West Ham’s priorities, it looks more and more like we can get this deal done by going to £110m. Okay. That’s a lot of money. It’s less than West Ham had originally insisted back when they wanted to make it seem that the player wouldn’t be leaving.

By the time you read this, it’s possible that the deal will already be done.\ Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian tweeted that “West Ham have not accepted Arsenal’s latest bid of £105m for Declan Rice. They are not happy with the payment structure proposed by Arsenal. Talks ongoing – offer itself not rejected out of hand”, which makes it seem as if this Zeno’s Paradox has inched incrementally closer to a conclusion. However, he then tweeted again five minutes later to say that there are “[s]ome suggestions that Arsenal may need to go to £110m to get this done. West Ham wanting the guaranteed part of fee paid quickly.”

£110m. Eleven 10,000,000s. That’s a lot of cheddar. It would make Rice the fourth most-expensive transfer ever, behind only Neymar’s £198m move to PSG, Mbappé’s £163m to…PSG, and João Félix’s £112m move to Atletico Madrid. One of those is not like the other two. Is Rice the kind of player who would buckle under the pressure of that massive transfer fee? He wouldn’t be the first.

If we’ve gone to £105, the leap to £110 is a mere £5m. That’s a rounding error. At a risk of sliding down a slippery slope, what’s £5m when you’ve already offered twenty-one times as much? Why not just go to £120m while you’re at it? On the other hand, it starts to feel like Mudryk 2.0. Having invested so much into this transfer over the last six months, failure might just start to loom too large in the imagination. The amount of stick Edu and Arteta have taken for failing to have signed Rice has reached ridiculous levels. Seeing Rice end up at Man City for £5-10m more than we bid—or worse, matching our bid but bettering the structure—might inspire a literal tar-and-feather brigade to take to the streets.

We’ve gone too far back to turn back now. Returning were as tedious as go o’er. Damn the torpedoes; go ahead. I just hope we know what we’re getting ourselves into…

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9 thoughts on “THIS Arsenal bid for Rice goes to 11…times £10,000,000!

  1. JW

    £110 million was always our minimum valuation. There is little faith in Arsenal’s add ons being achievable and we will want the money over max 18mths. That’s the price for Rice and I understand if Arsenal seems that to be too rich, we still have him for 2 years, so no need to sell and tbh West Ham fans would rather we retained him than he goes elsewhere. If City really want him I can’t see you outbidding them though.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      well, from the bad news (for me)/good news (for everyone else) department, it appears that Man City have dropped out, clearing the way for us to sign Rice at 105m. I saw what felt like a bizarre conspiracy theory that alleged that Arteta asked Guardiola to have Man City submit a bid in order to prompt Edu to improve our bid only to drop out. The piece don’t quite all fit, but they do if you squish them into place to force them to fit.

      I think we’ll get the quasi-official confirmation from Ornstein and/or Romano later today…

  2. Palladio43

    There was US Senator in the 1960’s from Illinois, where Jon lives, who is quoted as saying: “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about big money”. That was, of course at a time when the US national debt may only have been a few trillion dollars.
    Now we have Jon willing to toss in an extra 5 million for Rice as if these are 5 pound or 5 Euro notes (which is less these days post-Brexit?) only useful for lighting victory cigars ala Winston Churchill or Red Auerbach (more names from the past).
    But one has to ask whether even 100 or 10 is far too much? Is Rice worth 2.5 times Odegaard since we paid about 40 million two years ago and I assume European inflation is not that of Brazil or Argentina? Is he worth 8 times that of Xhaka albeit he is younger but also less experienced? How much will eat prices be raised to cover that extra amount, especially if we don’t get what we want for some of our outgoing starlets and overpay for the new arrivals?
    I suspect there are football stats for wins above replacement or the equivalent and that somewhere, even at stodgy Arsenal, Joshy must have brought in cybernetics to try to prove and justify the potential return on Rice and others. One can only hope that Rice proves out and erases the stench of choosing Pepe over Zaha.
    Finally, with City having driven up the price of Rice and others before pulling out, we should ask why. Are they trying to reduce the funds of rivals when they go after others they really want later in the transfer window knowing they have no competition? Is this like the fake auctions in “Storage Wars” where, having forced your rival up well above possible value (although we cannot yet know), you pull out and walk away laughing. BTW I admit to having done this at a charitable silent auction where I kept outbidding someone to encourage raising more funds for the organization. I pulled out with ten minutes to go leaving time for my bid to be ripped and, seemingly, with time for me to top that. I did not, but you have to be careful, lest your rival bidder also chooses to stop. Thus, you better hope he does bid again or that you truly want what you were bidding for because you might well own it. Therefore, did City truly want Rice and, if so, why stop when you have the money? Did Arsenal get drawn into a bidding war when there was no need? Also what if both sides had stopped bidding at 85 to 90 million, leaving WH in a serious quandary let alone saddled with a year of an unhappy Rice?
    Finally I write this before we know what WH will do. They now have far less leverage but do have an over-hyped bid (IMHO). Do they grab the money or hope that the Saudis might now come calling?

    1. Eoin

      Good points all, but I think we’ll see a final fee of around 105m regardless of what Jon (I kept typing John in the past) is willing to spend of Josh’s money. Speaking of Josh and the Kroenkes, how much credit do they deserve for backing Arteta to this level? We’re turning into a big club with big ambitions AND a big net spend to go along with it.

      1. Palladio43

        Let us hope that the Kroenke’s are fans rather than venture capitalists who pump up value, drain funds as they have for several years for “management” or other fees, and then sell off the team, much like what United fans accuse the Glazers of doing.
        My guess is that WH wants the money over 18 months and Arsenal offered no less than 48 months. A fair deal would be 30 months. City would never have paid 80 million at one time as claimed. They are not that stupid. WH needs enough to buy a Rice replacement for about 40 million but that might also not be in one lump sum. Arsenal should offer 40 to 50 up front, with two at 30 or 25 each thereafter. 36 months, I. ,e., once per year, allows payments to coincide with fiscal years and looks better. Chelsea truly conned the Ukrainians if they spread their payments over as many years as we have been told, unless the sellers built an inflation clause into the deal of about 5 to 10 percent compounded on outstanding balance. JMHO

        1. jw1

          KSE has backed each of their title-winning franchises in the US– to the hilt. NFL LA Rams, NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche– even their lesser sports teams have either won titles or done well enough.

          Winning seems contagious.
          As owners, the Kroenkes have shed their dubious reputations.

          1. Jon Shay Post author

            That backing is relatively new, though. Silent Stan was quite content to take the Glazers’ approach to all of his clubs – as long as he was turning a profit, he was quite content to sell/trade players and accept competitive but not successful seasons. I wonder if he’s turning the portfolio over to Josh, who seems more determined to actually see success on the pitch/field/gridiron/rink/court.

            Now that my approximate location has been revealed, I can confess that I have an additional axe to grind against Stan Kroenke. I’m a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Kroenke takes his actual first name (Enos) from Enos Slaughter and his middle name from Stan “the Man” Musial – both great players for the Cardinals. I therefore take his silence and his refusal to back Arsene on another level. If his son is taking this club in another direction, I’ll feel quite a lot better.

            It is, however, still a bit early to let them shed the stingy reputation – at least, in my opinion.

            1. jw1

              Am familiar with the histories of both Stan’s involvement with Arsenal and his namesakes. Before I was drawn to soccer as a fan by Wenger and Henry in the early-00s– baseball was my foremost passion.

              Matter-of-fact ‘our teams’ have gone head-to-head the past two nights– the Cards and ‘Stros. We used to have such a heated rivalry– before Houston moved to the AL West.

              What I’d like to add to bolster Stan’s reputation as an owner– was that as soon as he gained complete control of the club after buying out Usmanov’s shares– the purse strings loosened. I don’t think it was down to the Kroenke’s that AW’s late-era signings were so uninspiring.

              Admittedly, that KSE then appointed the crook Don Raul was a horrendous error. Then consider, had all those things not occurred as they had? We likely would not now be peering over the leading edge– as the beginning of Arsenal’s next golden era comes into focus.

              This– is a direct result– of Stan handing the reins to Josh. Credit now– where due?

              (Go’Stros! 😁)

              1. Jon Shay Post author

                Oh, man- the Astros! I remember those killer B’s: Berkman, Biggio, and Bagwell. Quite a team, and I’m still upset at the realignment that ended that rivalry.

                Good points regarding Kroenke/KSE (and Raul!). I wonder if this a result of some caution around maybe not understanding how the transfer market differs from American sports that are far stricter in what’s possible and wanting someone more “expert” in the freer wheeling and dealing in Europe. At any rate, Stan deserves credit for handing the reins off to Josh, and Josh deserves credit for steering so well!


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