Arsenal told Declan Rice will ‘cost more than Bellingham’ in staggering verdict

West Ham should be demanding more for Declan Rice than it will cost to lure Jude Bellingham away from Borussia Dortmund, according to Simon Jordan. The ex-Crystal Palace owner insists Hammers chiefs can name their price for their captain.

Arsenal are reportedly leading the way for Rice’s signature this summer. However, they are likely to face competition from some of their nearest rivals.

Manchester United and Chelsea have a long-standing interest in the player, while Manchester City are also admirers. The more teams who enter the race for Rice, the higher the fee West Ham will be able to demand.

Bellingham, meanwhile, has interest from all over Europe but Real Madrid are now thought to be the favourites to sign him. The 19-year-old’s contract at Borussia Dortmund has just two years remaining, the same as Rice’s if West Ham activate a one-year option to take his deal to 2025.

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Jordan says no player is worth the fees being bandied about of more than £100million. However, he says West Ham should use whatever Bellingham goes for as a benchmark and thinks they should even ask for a higher fee than that for Rice.

Jordan told talkSPORT: “No footballer is worth £120m, forget about it, he’s not. But he’s only worth £120m because the market forces dictate that that’s the case.

“I would use [Bellingham] as a backstory, of course I would! I would want Rice to go for more than Bellingham if I was David Sullivan because I wouldn’t be looking over at Bellingham saying, ‘what Borussia Dortmund get for Bellingham is their business and lucky for them.’

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“I’m not getting one single copper coin of that so I need to worry about what I’m getting. But when I’ve got an opportunity to push back against the notion, ‘hang on, people are saying he’s not worth it’, I’ll point to him over there and say, ‘this is the marketplace’.

“That’s what I’d use it for, but I’d be asking for more money, I wouldn’t be using Bellingham unless it really suited me. If they manage to get £150m for Bellingham, then I’d be turning around saying, ‘well this is the £150m marketplace.'”

A fee in excess of £100m may be too much for Arsenal to reach. The Gunners’ record signing is Nicolas Pepe at £72m.

Reports claim Mikel Arteta will have £150m to spend on his summer transfer targets. It remains to be seen if he is prepared to spend a large majority of that on one player.

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