West Ham United and England midfielder Declan Rice is very much a wanted man this summer.

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    The top two teams in the Premier League last season, Manchester City and Arsenal are now embroiled in a bidding war for the combative star.

    After having two confirmed bids turned down by West Ham, Arsenal then saw Manchester City come in with a £100m offer for the West Ham star.

    That equalled the biggest ever fee for a domestic transfer, that which City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish a couple of years ago.

    However, the Gunners have since struck back. Lodging a £105m bid for the Hammers captain. A move which has seen City, reportedly, withdraw their interest.

    Will that be enough to land Rice for the Gunners?

    It seems so, especially with bet365 Sport pulling their market for where Rice will start next season, seemingly indicating that a move is imminent.

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    Why Is Declan Rice The Target Of The Top Two?

    It is rare that the top two teams in the Premier League will genuinely compete for the same player in a transfer window. So what is it about Declan Rice that has City and Arsenal so keen?

    Rice was released by Chelsea aged 14, upon which he joined up with West Ham United’s Academy where his tenacity and energetic performances saw him quickly move through the ranks.

    He signed as a professional in December 2015 and made his debut on the final day of the 2016/17 season.

    As a youngster, he represented the Republic of Ireland at U16, U17, U19, U21 and full level in three friendly games.

    However, in 2018, he made it known he wanted to switch allegiances to England, after new FIFA regulations were brought in.

    As his career at West Ham took off, he quickly established himself as a first teamer at the heart of midfield and sometimes in defence. He earned his first England cap in 2019.

    Since 2018/19, Rice has been a virtual ever-present in the West Ham and England side. He has amassed 248 games for the Hammers, scoring 15 goals and securing the Europa Conference League trophy in what was likely his final game for the club.

    He also has 43 caps for England, scoring 3 goals.

    In addition, Rice has been the West Ham United player of the year 3 times and was nominated to the Europa League team of the season in 2021/22 and the Europa Conference Team of the Season in 2022/23.

    He was also named the UEFA Europa Conference League Player of the Season this year.

    • Style of Play

    Although Declan Rice has played as a central defender, it is as a defensive midfielder where he has shone.

    His ability to win the ball on the ground and in the air, allied to an excellent ability to run with the ball, play the right pass at the right time allied with incredible stamina have made him one of the best defensive midfielders in world football.

    At his best, he displays the same physical power and qualities of Manchester City’s Spaniard Rodri, alongside the tenacity and energy of ex-Chelsea and Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante.

    Additionally, his leadership qualities came to the fore this season when he became West Ham captain aged just 23.

    Now aged 24, he is set to make the move which may well define his career. The question is where will he go?

    Arsenal in the Driving Seat?

    Arsenal appear to be in the lead for Rice’s signature today, especially with Manchester City seemingly withdrawing their interest.

    However, Bayern Munich are believed to be monitoring the situation. Although whether Thomas Tuchel’s team would sanction a move over £100m for the player remains to be seen.

    West Ham have not yet accepted any offer for Rice and until such a time as they do, Rice’s future will remain unclear.

    Arsenal are thought to want Rice to replace Thomas Partey, the talented but often injured Ghanaian star who made a few mistakes that proved costly for the Gunners over the last couple of years.

    Partey would be allowed to move on and with Granit Xhaka being linked with a move to Bayer Leverkusen, Mikel Arteta seems to want to revamp the heart of his midfield.

    Other Transfers In The News

    • Maddison Earns His Spurs?

    England man James Maddison is believed to be close to sealing a move to Tottenham Hotspurs from relegated Leicester City for a fee believed to be around £40m.

    The Foxes star is believed to be in North London today for a medical before signing off on the move.

    Newcastle were also believed to be interested in the former Norwich man.

    • Munich Keen On Kane

    Bayern Munich have had an initial offer of £60m plus add-ons for Spurs striker Harry Kane rejected by the Londoners.

    Kane, 29, is believed to be ready to move on this summer but chairman Daniel Levy is believed to be holding out for a fee of at least £100m for the Spurs and England captain and record goalscorer.

    Kane is now 8/11 with bet365 Sport to be a Bayern Munich player by Sunday 3rd September.

    • City Ready To Launch £70m Gvardiol Move

    Red Bull Leipzig and Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol is believed to be a £70m target for Manchester City.

    The Citizens are now 1/8 favourites to sign the Croatian defender, who was one of the best players at last year’s World Cup Finals.

    If Gvardiol does sign then that may open the door for Aymeric Laporte to make a move away from the Etihad, possibly to Tottenham.

    • Chelsea Fire Sale Set To Continue

    Having already allowed Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Mateo Kovacic leave the club, Chelsea are believed to be ready to offload a number of other players.

    Eduoard Mendy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are set for moves to the Saudi league, Cesar Azpilicueta is believed to be on his way back to Spain, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is in talks with AC Milan, and Mason Mount’s future is uncertain with Manchester United bidding for the England man.

    But that’s not all with a number of other players including Baba Rahman, Conor Gallagher, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz all also being linked with moves away from the club.