Declan Rice and Eddie Nketiah could be set for an awkward reunion, with the West Ham midfielder on the verge of joining Arsenal.

The Gunners have agreed a deal in principle for Rice, as the finer details of a move are discussed.

Arsenal will pay an initial £100 million for the 24-year-old, with a further £5 million to be paid in add-ons, according to the Daily Mail.

The report adds that Mikel Arteta and co are keen to pay back the Hammers over four years, but the east London club want it paid in full by 2025.

A transfer is set to be announced soon, after Manchester City pulled out of the race in response to Arsenal’s latest bid.

The 24-year-old is expected to become the club’s second-highest paid player behind Gabriel Jesus, following on from Kai Havertz’s £65 million switch from Chelsea

Rice will link up with England teammates Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka. However, he may have his reservations about reuniting with Nketiah, following the pair’s recent on-field feud.

What happened between Rice and Nketiah?

The duo were involved in an “angry exchange” in May 2022 during a clash between West Ham and Arsenal at the London Stadium, talkSPORT explained.

With the Gunners 2-1 up at the time, Nketiah was doing his best to wind down the clock as Arsenal went in search of three points to add to their title hopes.

The 24-year-old could be seen standing in the way of Aaron Cresswell, preventing the left-back taking a free-kick, leading to a scuffle between both sets of players.

Rice in particular took umbrage with Nketiah’s antics, squaring up to his compatriot, before the pair exchanged some choice words.

Interestingly, both players go way back, having previously played together within Chelsea’s academy set-up.

Speaking about his relationship with Nketiah, Rice told England’s ‘Winner Stays On’ show: “I’ve got the best story right, Eddie Nketiah – Arsenal, when I was at Chelsea with him as a kid, we used to go on long away days – used to travel on the coach, Eddie used to bring a massive bowl – but like it would be in a big box – of jollof rice and he’d feed the whole team.

“All the lads would be buzzing over it, he’d bring plates, knives and forks, all the way home everyone would be eating it, it was so peng, the lads used to be buzzing over it, it was so good.”

The duo are set to become teammates once again at the Emirates, where they will hope to let bygones be bygones and work together towards silverware.


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