Update — 9:35AM EST: Presence of Hoeneß could get deal done
Believe it or not, the massive fee that the Hammers are expecting for Rice is not scaring away the Bavarians, either. Bayern Munich appears poised and ready to reach deep into its coffers to fund a move for the steady ball-winning midfielder.
Bayern Munich could have to pay that much because Rice’s contract runs through 2025 — and not 2024 as many thought:
❗️News #Rice: Bayern knows that the overall financial package is around €100m at this stage - only transfer fee!— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) May 30, 2023
His contract is NOT running out 2024. It’s valid until 2025 because West Ham has an option for one more year.
But: Hoeneß (back in the game) has opened the door… pic.twitter.com/NYjh18O1AL
Former sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić and current technical director Marco Neppe made the jaunt to England to speak with Rice per Tz:
Bayern are serious about Declan Rice. There was not only a phone call with Thomas Tuchel, the coach also met with the player personally in England last week - together with Marco Neppe and Hasan Salihamidžić.
Sport Bild’s Tobi Altschäffl had another account of the story, which said that Tuchel was at the meeting as well:
Bayern’s delegation reportedly consisted of Salihamidžić, Bayern’s technical director Marco Neppe and coach Thomas Tuchel. According to Bild information, the introductory meeting went well and lasted a full 90 minutes.
The Hammers just finished the Premier League season in 14th place. So they won’t be playing internationally next season. Rice is a six, one of the positions where Munich have identified an urgent need. Because Bayern’s classic double six with Goretzka and Kimmich has long been considered a weakness of Munich. Both pros are too offensive and play more like a double eight.
So far so good. Only: Rice is THE jewel in the West Ham squad, with a market value of 80 million by far the most expensive Hammers player. So it stands to reason that the Londoners would like to make money with him this summer before they have to let him go on a free transfer in 2024. According to the English “Mirror”, Bavaria should even be willing to invest up to 110 million euros for Rice.
The problem with Rice/Guerreiro for Bayern: so far, Salihamidzic/Neppe have been in talks, while Tuchel was with Rice. Now Salihamidzic is gone, Neppe is currently on the outside, Tuchel doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. Only after today’s AR session will further planning be carried out from tomorrow.
How Salihamidžić’s subsequent sacking will affect the potential deal remains to be seen, but this is much more serious than most thought. Bayern Munich could be making a very strong play for Rice.