Saturday, December 9News That Matters

West Ham included secret clause to Declan Rice’s Arsenal deal that could help them sign teammate

West Ham United reportedly inserted a fascinating clause into Declan Rice’s contract at Arsenal which gives the club first refusal on his England teammate.

Rice moved to Arsenal for a then-British record transfer fee of £105m in July, and has already settled into life in north London.

The Gunners had to push hard to strike a deal with West Ham, with David Moyes keen to get as much money as possible for the midfielder.

While the Hammers included an interesting clause in Rice’s contract, which means they have first refusal on signing Emile Smith Rowe if he chooses to leave the Gunners next year.

That’s according to Football Transfers, who claim Smith Rowe was Moyes’ preferred choice over Mohamed Kudus before the the Ghanaian star signed.

Smith Rowe has returned from a long-term knee injury, but is yet to start a match under Mikel Arteta this campaign.

The England international’s current deal expires in 2026 and it’s not clear whether Arsenal would sanction a sale of the midfielder or if they’d prefer to send him out loan.

Over the summer, a number of Premier League teams including Aston Villa and Chelsea were linked with a move for the midfielder.

While Newcastle have been rumoured with a move for him in January. Fabrizio Romano recently provided an update on the Magpies’ interest.

“This [Smith Rowe] is a name that keeps coming up, but again I’m not aware of any concrete talk at this stage with Newcastle, let’s see closer to the January window,” Romano told Caught Offside on Tuesday.

“As I always mentioned, Newcastle are not advancing on any signing now as it’s crucial for them to understand if they will be in UCL in the second part of the season before moving.”

Speaking back in April, Arteta hinted that Smith Rowe still had a future at the club.

“He’s pushing, and in football what you did a year ago, a month ago is not important, it’s about what you do now, what you do yesterday and what you do tomorrow,” Arteta said.

“The player has to have that mindset and the contribution has to be now to the team has to make us better and to make us win games. He’s very close.”

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