Having tabled their third offer, comprising of £100m in guaranteed cash plus a further £5m in bonuses, officials from both clubs were locked in advanced talks on Wednesday with a view to ironing out the finer details of the deal’s structure.

West Ham ideally want the cash paid in two instalments by the start of 2025.

But the issue has been described as minor and not a point that will see the deal collapse, with both clubs now working towards reaching an agreement rather than haggling over the price.

Manchester City’s decision to exit the race for Rice following Arsenal’s huge bid significantly strengthened the Gunners’ position.

City saw a £90m offer rejected by West Ham on Tuesday with the Treble winners deciding on Wednesday that they wouldn’t be matching Arsenal’s bid.

Another significant development on Wednesday morning arrived when West Ham received information that Rice wanted them to accept Arsenal’s £105million offer.

Formally agreeing personal terms will not be an issue, with Rice to sign a long term contract worth at least £250,000-per-week.

Arsenal has always Rice’s preferred destination despite City’s late interest in him.

And he will now be granted his wish of joining the Gunners, where head coach Mikel Arteta views him as a future captain.

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, making it difficult for them to part with him.

In total, he 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.

Moyes will now be tasked with using funds generated from the sale of Rice to help flesh out the squad for next season.


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