Do Man City really want Declan Rice?! Eni Aluko makes surprising suggestion that Mikel Arteta ‘asked Pep Guardiola to put a £90m bid in to push Arsenal’s owners’ – and says she ‘did it all the time’ as a sporting director
- Manchester City put in a £90m bid for Arsenal target Declan Rice on Monday
- Eni Aluko has suggested that Pep Guardiola’s side don’t want to sign Rice
- Click here to view all the latest transfer news and gossip in Mail Sport’s live blog
Eni Aluko has made the surprising claim that Manchester City don’t want to sign West Ham star Declan Rice.
Reports this morning have suggested that the Hammers have rejected the bid, while the Gunners are expected to counter with their third offer for the 24-year-old midfielder.
Former England international Aluko though suggested that Mikel Arteta asked Pep Guardiola for Man City to put in a bid – so that it would push Arsenal’s owners to get the deal done.
Aluko, who was previously sporting director for Aston Villa Women and Angel City FC in the United States, said this was a tactic she previously used in order to get deals across the line.
Eni Aluko has questioned whether Manchester City really want to sign West Ham’s Declan Rice
Arsenal and Man City appear to be locked in a battle for the midfielder, with the reigning Premier League champions launching a £90m bid for the England international on Monday
Aluko claims that Mikel Arteta asked Pep Guardiola for Man City to put in a bid for Rice, in order to push Arsenal’s owners to get a deal across the line
Arsenal are imminently expected to put in a third bid closer towards West Ham’s valuation
She told talkSPORT: ‘I think there’s a lot of cat and mouse going on here. As a sporting director I used to do this a lot where I’d call up a big club and say “can you put a bid in?” – and that would get my owner to put a higher bid in.
‘I don’t think Manchester City actually want to sign Declan Rice, I think what’s going on here is Mikel Arteta has picked up the phone to Pep and said “listen, Arsenal are going to do the incremental bid approach. If you put a higher bid in that will push my owner”.’
When talkSPORT host Laura Woods asked if this tactic was used to get signings completed quickly, she said: ‘For speed, but to also get the deal done.
‘Because West Ham obviously want a set valuation, I think £120m.’
When Ally McCoist questioned why Arsenal don’t just go and pay the fee West Ham want, Aluko responded: ‘I don’t why they are doing this incremental approach.
‘It says to me that Man City coming later on, it’s going to help Arsenal. Because the fans are going to get on it and say “hold on a second, if you let Declan Rice go to Man City when he’s our number one target it says a lot about Arsenal”.
‘I think there’s a bit of that going on, I used to do that all the time and it used to work.’
City’s offer comprises of a guaranteed £80million plus an extra £10m in add-ons.
Aluko says she used the same tactic and that it worked when she was a sporting director – she previously held that role at Aston Villa Women and Angel City FC in the United States
The proposal beats Arsenal’s previous rejected bid of a guaranteed £75million plus an additional £15million in bonuses.
Sources claim that Arsenal’s third offer will be closer towards the Hammers’ £100m valuation.
The payment structure is also emerging as a factor, with the Hammers wanting the guaranteed portion of the fee for Rice to be paid in two instalments before 2025.
Rice has been heavily linked with Arsenal since before the transfer window opened but a deal has yet to be struck.
City have lost a valuable midfielder this summer in the form of captain Ilkay Gundogan, who completed a move to Barcelona on a two-year deal.
They are close though to the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea for £25million.
Before joining Arsenal, Arteta was assistant to Guardiola at Manchester City.
Guardiola got the better of his friend this past season, as his Man City side overtook Arsenal in the final weeks of the campaign to win the Premier League.