ARSENAL and Manchester United have both been handed a boost in their pursuit of Declan Rice.
The Premier League giants are interested in a summer move for theWest Ham captain but faced competition from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
However, there is now hope that the German outfit are out of the race to sign Rice after the club completed the free transfer signing of Konrad Laimer.
The Austrian international has signed a four-year deal at the Allianz Arena and will aim to help the club win a 12th consecutive title next season.
Laimer told club media: "It's a dream come true for me. FC Bayern is one of the biggest clubs in the world.
"I will give everything for the club and the fans. FC Bayern always has the highest goals – just like me.
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"I'm in the right place here. I'm only capable of giving 100 per cent, and that's what I'll put into every training session from day one. I can hardly wait."
The completed transfer will likely lessen the urgency for Bayern to sign Rice.
West Ham owner David Sullivan confirmed that the England international will leave the club this summer after winning the Europa Conference League final.
He told talkSPORT: "I think it has to be [his last game]. We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going.
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"You can't ask for a man who has committed more to us this season. In due course, he has to get on, and we have to get a replacement – or several replacements.
"It's not something we want to happen. We offered him £200,000-a-week 18 months ago. He turned it down. It's cost him £10million to stay at West Ham in that time (in lost wages). And he wants to go.
"You can't keep a player who doesn't want to be there."
Rice is the first Hammers captain to lead the club to a major trophy in 43 years, joining an elite club of Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds.
West Ham continue to demand £120m for their academy graduate, despite his current contract expiring in 2024.
This fee would make Rice a record Premier League transfer and is even more than the £106m that Chelsea paid for Enzo Fernandes.
It has been reported that Arsenal could make an opening offer to the East London outfit worth up to £92m.
While the Gunners are likely to have to battle Man Utd as well as Manchester City for Rice.
Although it has been suggested that Newcastle could also try and make a serious offer for the midfielder.
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