Arsenal have communicated their intention to West Ham to make a third formal offer for Declan Rice, which will move them closer to his £100million valuation.

Manchester City’s first formal offer of £90million – comprising of £80million in guaranteed cash and a further £10million in add-ons, for Rice was turned down by the Hammers on Tuesday.

Having seen two bids rejected, their most recent an offer of a certain £75million plus a further £15million in bonuses, Arsenal are now understood to have informed the Hammers hierarchy they are returning with an improved formal bid – in what is effectively viewed as a verbal offer.

Sources have indicated the bid will be in touching distance of the Hammers’ £100m asking price.

The structure of the deal will also be a key factor, with West Ham preferring the guaranteed part of the fee be paid by the start of 2025. Arsenal have so far offered to pay the fee over the course of five years.

Manchester United are also interested in Rice, but are viewed as outsiders in the race.

United would prefer to use fringe players as makeweights in the deal; with Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay of interest to Hammers head coach David Moyes.

Since making his debut at the age of 18 in 2017, 24-year-old Rice has developed into a homegrown hero for the east London club.

In total, he has racked up 245 appearances, scoring 15 goals.

During that time, Rice – who played three times for Republic of Ireland in 2018 before switching allegiance to England – has established himself as a key man for Gareth Southgate’s men, winning 43 caps.

The Hammers’ triumph in the Europa Conference League last season capped off what had been a difficult season for the club as they flirted with relegation and Moyes came under significant pressure.

However, a late season run of four wins in their final 10 games secured safety and a 14th place finish, before they defeated Fiorentina 2-1 in the Conference League final courtesy of Jarrod Bowen’s last-gasp winner.

This means Rice’s last involvement with the club could be being the first Hammers skipper since Bobby Moore to lift a European trophy.

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