REVEALED: West Ham included secret clause in Declan Rice deal that gives them chance to sign Arsenal player before anyone else

Declan Rice’s contract at Arsenal contains an intriguing clause that gives West Ham first refusal on his England teammate.

Rice joined Arsenal in July for a then-British record sum of £105 million and has now eased into life in north London.

The Gunners had to work hard to reach an agreement with West Ham, as David Moyes wanted as much money as possible for their prized asset.

While at the Emirates, the Hammers put an intriguing clause in Rice’s contract that gives them first refusal on signing Emile Smith Rowe if he decides to leave the club next year.

According to Football Transfers, Smith Rowe was Moyes’ first option over Mohamed Kudus before the Ghanaian signed.

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

The Englishman’s current contract expires in 2026, and it’s unclear whether Arsenal would allow a sale or want to loan him out.

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Several Premier League clubs, notably Aston Villa and Chelsea, were linked with a move for the midfielder over the summer.

While Newcastle has been linked with a January deal for him. Fabrizio Romano, a transfer analyst, recently given 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 said in an interview with 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.”

Arteta intimated in April that Smith Rowe still had a bright 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 in a statement.

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“The player must have that mindset, and his contribution to the team must now be to make us better and win games.” He’s almost there.”

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