West Ham could trigger Declan Rice transfer domino effect with bid for ex-Arsenal star
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West Ham are plotting a bid for former Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, according to reports - which could give the Gunners a greater opportunity to sign Declan Rice.
The 24-year-old Hammers captain has been identified as Arsenal's priority target, with the Daily Mirror claiming last week that manager Mikel Arteta is planning to enter talks with Rice at the end of the current season.
West Ham boss David Moyes, however, has warned suitors that they will need to pay a big fee in order to acquire the midfielder.
Speaking after his side's 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday - in which Rice earned the player of the match award - the Scot was asked if the interest in Rice's services and whether he was worried about it.
Moyes replied (quotes via football.london): "Yes, that's why he is probably the best English midfield player around, and that is why he is going to be extremely expensive if anybody comes calling."
However, Arsenal will hope that one of their former players could inadvertently play a small part in sealing a transfer for Rice.
West Ham 'plot bid for ex-Arsenal midfielder'
According to The Athletic's David Ornstein, the Hammers are considering a summer bid for Matteo Guendouzi, who currently plays for Ligue 1 side Marseille after departing Arsenal on a permanent deal last summer.
However, the ex-Gunners midfielder has also attracted interest from Aston Villa, who reportedly tried to sign him in January after the appointment of Unai Emery, who managed the Frenchman at the Emirates Stadium.
French journalist Mathieu Gregoire claimed that manager and player had spoken over the phone in regards to a potential move, and Villa could go back in for the midfielder amid the reported impending appointment of Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany.
According to Ornstein, meanwhile, the Hammers feel a return to England would suit Guendouzi despite his mixed success at Arsenal - and the Gunners may see any completed move as fresh impetus for them to target Rice.