Football great Lothar Matthaus may have just done Arsenal a huge favour in the battle for West Ham star Declan Rice.
West Ham captain Declan Rice is widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in world football.
So it is understandable that the likes of Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Man United and Man City are all being heavily linked.
Football has seen some brilliant standout players in Rice’s position down the years.
And they don’t come much better than German and world football legend Lothar Matthaus.
Just over a week ago Arsenal were said to be clear frontrunners to sign Rice from the Hammers.
Arsenal move for Rice threatened by Bayern
Bayern Munich then emerged as a serious threat to Arsenal’s attempts to sign West Ham’s beloved skipper (Sky Sports).
Especially when Rice cheekily dropped a big German hint at West Ham training the morning after Bayern’s interest went public.
But it was claimed Bayern could not get close to West Ham’s valuation – whereas Arsenal, at £92m, were almost there.
That changed less than 24 hours later when 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.
Football great Lothar Matthaus may have just done Arsenal a huge favour in the battle for West Ham star Declan Rice
That has had the Gunners sweating.
But football great Matthaus may have just done Arsenal a huge favour in the battle for West Ham star Rice.
Matthaus is one of the greatest Bayern players of all time and his opinion holds much weight at the club.
Wherever Rice chooses to go next he will need to be convinced it is a club that is heading in the right direction which can satisfy his desire for titles, top trophies and Champions League football.
So an outspoken blast from Matthaus about the job Tuchel is doing and the state of his old club can only help Arsenal.
‘Bayern worse under Tuchel and club in disarray’
Borussia Dortmund look set to beat Bayern to the Bundesliga title.
And Matthaus has hit out at Tuchel and the job he is doing at Bayern in an interview with Sport Bild, saying the club is in a worse state since his arrival.
And the picture he paints will help entice West Ham’s £100m plus man to Germany, which will give Mikel Arteta a massive boost. Especially as Arsenal are very much seen as a club on the up and all pushing in the same direction under the Spaniard.
“Of course, many mistakes were made even before the change of coach, which ultimately led to this situation,” Matthaus said.
“But the team, which was still on course for the treble under (Julian) Nagelsmann, plays worse under Tuchel.
“Tuchel increased the uncertainty (around the club) because at his press conferences, which I find a bit strange, he always talks about how difficult everything is and what doesn’t work, instead of standing in front of the team.
“Add to that the unnecessary Müller discussion and too many changes of position.”