The game of cat and mouse between West Ham, Arsenal and Man City regarding Declan Rice has taken yet another turn.

Overnight, the Gunners had submitted a club and British record bid for the Hammers midfielder of £100m plus £5m in add-ons according to The Athletic (subscription required)

After two much lower offers, surely the Gunners would’ve felt that their third attempt would’ve hit all of the right notes as far as David Sullivan and the West Ham board were concerned.

However, according to tweets from The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, the Hammers, whilst not rejecting the bid out of hand, have not accepted the bid because of the payment structure that Arsenal are trying to impose.

The journalist also notes that Man City are expected to bid again, and that the player himself would join Pep Guardiola’s City revolution if that was the only acceptable bid on the table.

Arsenal simply can’t afford to lose out on Rice this summer over what amounts to small, technical details. If they want the player, pay the money in the way in which West Ham require.

Whilst it’s accepted that negotiation is part of the process, particularly when you’re trying to land a player of the standing of Declan Rice, there has to be a point in those negotiations where it’s a ‘take it or leave it’ moment.

Arsenal are at that point now. If they don’t hurry up and get things over the line, it’s clear that Man City will come in and beat them to the punch.

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