Arsenal will reportedly attempt to sign Declan Rice from West Ham later this year after Mikel Arteta backed the club’s hierarchy to target him.
It feels like only a matter of time before Rice leaves West Ham, especially amid their poor start to the season in 2022/23.
The Hammers have battled for a place in Europe in recent seasons but they currently find themselves looking over their shoulders in 17th. This is not helped by a run of five consecutive league defeats.
Rice has been key to their success prior to this campaign as he has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
West Ham did well to keep him last summer and they did so by insisting that he is valued at £150m.
Understandably, no one was willing to offer that much to sign Rice, but he has been speaking more openly about wanting to play in the Champions League.
“100 per cent I want to play in the Champions League,” Rice admitted.
“I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing.
“I see my friends here, who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.
“You only get one career and at the end, you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.”
Chelsea are the side that has been linked with Rice the most. This could have been predicted as the 23-year-old had a spell at the Blues as a teenager.
Liverpool and Man Utd are also said to be admirers of Rice as they look to strengthen in midfield.
But Spanish outlet Fichajes have come out with a belter of a report with a headline reading ‘Arsenal’s huge offer to sign Declan Rice’.
They are said to be ‘willing to throw the house out the window’ to give themselves a better chance of winning the Premier League this season.
Rice is under contract until 2024 but it is believed that they can extend this deal by a further year. With that, ‘West Ham expect to receive close to 100 million euros’ to let Rice leave.
The report notes that Rice was ‘close’ to joining Chelsea last year but they ‘tried unsuccessfully’ to recruit him.
Now Mikel Arteta ‘would be delighted’ to sign Rice and he has given this proposed transfer the ‘green light’.
The manager’s intention is seemingly to turn Rice ‘into one of Arsenal’s top signings for 2023/2024’.
Fichajes are not exactly renowned for their reliability so this should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Instead of spending a nine-figure sum on a new midfielder, Arsenal could look to sign Youri Tielemans on a free transfer in the summer or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for a reduced fee.
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