‘Give me a break’: Troy Deeney now names Arsenal in response to Declan Rice claim

Troy Deeney claims Arsenal would ‘bite your hand off’ to sign West Ham United ace Declan Rice in an £80m transfer. He believes any suggestion the midfielder is worth less is absurd.

The 24-year-old is highly in-demand ahead of the summer sales with the Premier League’s elite set to fight for his services. Yet Gary Neville would only spend £50-60m to sign Rice as he does not score or assist enough. He feels a higher sum is too much for a defensive type.

England saw the attacking instincts that Rice has against Italy on Thursday, though. He put the Three Lions ahead in Naples after staying alert in the area to hit Harry Kane’s deflected effort home. It was the Irons captain’s third international goal during his 40th appearance.

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Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are all keen on Declan Rice’s transfer

Rice has not registered a prolific record for West Ham this season with two goals and four assists after 34 appearances. Each of those goals also came during Premier League fixtures with relegation-threatened sides. He scored against Southampton and Nottingham Forest.

Yet Arsenal have made Rice their top transfer target and are confident of signing him from West Ham for £80m. That is according to The Times, while Dean Jones reports Manchester United are also keen. But he adds the Irons value their academy product at around £100m.

West Ham’s valuation, plus interest from Arsenal and Manchester United, has not stopped Chelsea from targeting Rice’s transfer, either, per Ben Jacobs. The Premier League rivals all want the midfielder as he has proven with the Irons and England to be a sensational talent.

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Troy Deeney has no doubt the West Ham United captain is worth at least £80m

Despite the scepticism of pundits like Neville over West Ham’s asking price, Deeney has no doubt that Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United would jump at a chance to sign Rice for £80m when the next transfer window opens as the midfielder is only going to improve still.

“For me, Declan is world-class,” Deeney wrote in his column for The Sun. “This kid plays so many games a year and is still a young man getting used to that. I know the average football fan will say: ‘He gets paid to do that’.

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“No, he gets paid to play a season of football, not a season-and-a-half in one campaign. And despite all that, he is still West Ham’s best player and one of England’s best players. He is only going to get better. He has a ceiling that could continue to rise.

“I have seen people say: ‘I wouldn’t pay £80m for him’. Come on, give me a break. He is a proper player. Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool would all bite your hand off for him.”

Rice has played 34 games across all competitions with West Ham so far this term plus eight with England. He also played 50 times for the Irons and eight for the Three Lions last term.

In other news, Report: West Ham are ‘big fans’ of £27m Serie A winger compared to Nkunku, summer exit likely

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