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Arsenal transfer news: Gunners and Chelsea blasted by ex-Bayern chief over Rice and Caicedo

Declan Rice, Arsenal, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Arsenal and Chelsea have been criticised for overpaying in their headline summer transfer business by the former Bayern Munich club president Uli Hoeness.

Arsenal smashed their transfer record in landing England international Declan Rice for a fee that could ultimately rise to £105 million.

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Rice has scored three goals in 32 matches thus far for the Gunners, having signed from West Ham in July.

It was reported that Bayern had taken an interest in signing Rice but backed off once they understood the scale of the finances involved.

“I consciously looked at him,” Hoeness told Frankfurter Allgemeine. “He’s a very good player but with all due respect, I wouldn’t spend €120m on him even today. Such sums are too high for this club. We as FC Bayern simply cannot afford that.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was not shy about opening his cheque book last summer with Rice arriving along with Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber. The Gunners’ spending was restricted in winter as they now grapple with staying in line with FFP regulations.

Bayern wouldn’t pay €127m for Caicedo

Hoeness also took aim at Chelseaover the signing of Moises Caicedo. The Ecuadorian midfielder had played only 45 Premier League matches for Brighton before the Todd Boehly-led consortium at Stamford Bridge parted with £100m for his services.

The 22-year-old has been harshly criticised for his performances in blue this season with the club well adrift of the top of the table in 11th place.

“Or the week before I looked at Moises Caicedo,” Hoeness continued. “I thought to myself, spend €127m on him?

“Others are welcome to do that. But FC Bayern will certainly never do that because it is simply too much money for us – regardless of the qualities of this player.”

Moises Caicedo Chelsea
© IMAGO – Moises Caicedo Chelsea

Chelsea’s spending spree under Boehly has been relentless with over £1bn lavished on new signings across four transfer windows thus far. It could well lead to trouble down the line with Chelsea facing FFP scrutiny over their transfer business and needing to sell £100m worth of players before June 30.

Instead of spending big, the Bavarians brought in Konrad Laimer on a free transfer from RB Leipzig to bulk out their midfield and have also been buoyed by the form of emerging homegrown youngster Aleksandar Pavlovic.

They did pay top dollar for Harry Kane, their top scorer this season, who arrived for around £86m.

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