captain is now ‘likely’ to join this summer, despite interest from former club .
The Hammers are resigned to losing the England midfielder after their dismal form this season and all hopes of tying Rice down to a new contract have evaporated.
Rice has made it clear that he wants to play football and though he was determined to do that with the Hammers, David Moyes’ side have .
Chelsea have long been thought to be Rice’s next step, given the Blues have made no secret of the regret they hold for allowing the midfielder leave the club at the age of 14.
Rice is close friends with Mason Mount and Frank Lampard twice attempted to sign Rice during his time at the club.
However, after a £600m outlay and with top-four qualification looking unlikely, Chelsea’s bid has been weakened.
That’s left Mikel Arteta’s side has the frontrunners and the say Arsenal are now ‘likely’ to win the race for Rice.
West Ham will set a for Rice but Arsenal won’t go to that number.
The Hammers’ bargaining position will be severely weakened if they fail to survive in the Premier League and they could be looking at a fee closer to £55 or £60m for Rice if they go down.
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