Didi Hamann has given Arsenal a monumental boost over West Ham star Declan Rice with a shock claim about Thomas Tuchel.

West Ham captain Declan Rice is widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in world football.

So Arsenal were never going to have a free run at the Hammers hero. And so it has proved with German giants Bayern Munich and Manchester United also being heavily linked.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is said to be planning to add a personal touch to Arsenal’s attempts to sign Rice from West Ham.

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Germans have emerged as a serious threat to Arsenal’s hopes of signing Rice

For the Hammers, a bidding war was always clearly the ideal scenario to unfold. But for Arsenal, Bayern have emerged as a serious threat.

Last week a German journalist claimed Bayern were now willing to blow Arsenal out of the water by meeting West Ham’s demands for the England midfielder after Thomas Tuchel made him his number one target.

And this week it is being reported that Tuchel and Rice have “spoken on the phone” and Rice is “open” to joining Bayern.

Former Germany star Dietmar Hamann was once a leading central midfield star in world football, playing for Newcastle, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

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Didi Hamann has just given Arsenal a monumental boost over West Ham star Declan Rice with shock claim about Thomas Tuchel

Now Didi Hamann has given Arsenal a monumental boost over West Ham star Rice with a shock claim about Tuchel.

Hamann, pictured in conversation with sacked Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic below, still has close links at Bayern.

Salihamidzic and chief executive Oliver Kahn were sacked by the Bundesliga champions just hours after their title win at the weekend.

And in what could be a huge boost for Arsenal – but a blow to West Ham’s hopes of an auction driving up the Rice price – Hamann claims Tuchel could quit Bayern this week after developments at his old club.

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‘He’ll leave of his own accord’

Behind the scenes, Bayern are described as a club in turmoil. While Arsenal are one of the youngest, most exciting teams in Europe, Bayern are a mess by comparison.

Kahn and Salihamidzic fired Julian Nagelsmann as coach on March 24 and replaced him with former Chelsea boss Tuchel.

But the alleged phone call between Tuchel and Rice could amount to nothing. Because Hamann claims the manager could walk this week.

“When you treat people like this, you have to ask yourself: Do you want to work for this club?” Hamann said on German TV.

“I don’t think you can rule out Tuchel leaving soon too. But he’ll leave of his own accord.”

Hamann then agreed with fellow pundit, Erik Meijer, who said he would leave this week.

If that does prove to be the case then it would surely rule Bayern out of the race to sign Rice from West Ham.

That would be bad news for Hammers hopes of getting the £100m plus they want for their talisman.

Rice himself has spoken out about the speculation this week.


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