"Sources in Germany..." - Journalist drops Declan Rice transfer update as Bayern Munich meeting confirmed
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Bayern Munich are prepared to enter a bidding war with Manchester United and Arsenal for Declan Rice, according to a fresh report.
Despite having led the pack for some 248 days, Arsenal were pipped to the line by Manchester City in the Premier League title race.
In turn, Mikel Arteta’s side have been tipped to spend big in the summer window and go toe-to-toe with City for a second season in succession, with Rice believed to be the club’s priority target.
Meanwhile, United, who will be making a Champions League return next season, are also thought to have out Rice on their summer wish-list.
Yet it appears both clubs will have to take on German giants Bayern to sign the England international.
Declan Rice to Bayern Munich?
According to the Evening Standard's "sources in Germany", Bayern have joined the race to sign Rice, with the West Ham star having been identified as one of the club’s top summer transfer targets.
The report adds that Arsenal remain frontrunners to sign the 24-year-old and reaffirms that United are also keen.
However, last week Bild claimed that Bayern held a meeting in London last week with Rice and his father, who works as the player’s consultant.
The meeting was reportedly 90 minutes long and featured Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel, technical director Marco Neppe and outgoing sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić.
Bild added that while the meeting was merely introductory, it went well for both parties, with Rice open to joining the Bavarian giants.
Indeed, Bayern’s interest is good for West Ham, given the Hammers are hoping to spark a bidding war for the player. The east London side intend to drive a hard bargain, having reportedly placed an initial £120million valuation on the midfielder.
Rice has rejected several offers of a new West Ham contract, which would have made him the best-paid player at the club.
Going into the summer the player will only have a year left on his deal there, though the Hammers have the option of extending Rice’s contract by a further 12 months.
Yet, those at the club have reportedly accepted that this summer represents the last chance to bank a big fee for the academy graduate.