Arsenal told to be wary over Chelsea ‘ghost’ in race for Arteta’s top target as Real Madrid emerges

Date published: Thursday 26th January 2023 2:53 - Joe Williams

Arsenal target Declan Rice closes his eyes as the players line up

Arsenal need to be wary of another Chelsea hijack as they look to get ahead in the race to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, according to one journalist.

The Gunners have already lost one transfer battle in the January market with Mykhaylo Mudryk choosing to join Chelsea over Mikel Arteta’s side.

Arsenal were quick to sign Leandro Trossard from Brighton instead, while they have also moved to bring in Jakub Kiwior from Spezia too to boost their defensive ranks.

Arteta has publicly admitted that he wants to bring in a midfielder before the deadline but it looks like their reported pursuit of West Ham’s Rice will have to wait until the summer.

However, Arsenal have been warned by Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio that they could face huge competition for the England international in the summer.

Di Marzio thinks the Gunners should be particularly wary of Real Madrid with Carlo Ancelotti known to be a big admirer of Rice.

The journalist told “We can even add Real Madrid to that list (of clubs interested in Declan Rice).

“Carlo Ancelotti is a big fan of his (Declan Rice) qualities. So you should never forget to mention Real Madrid, for the simple reason that Carlo Ancelotti likes Declan Rice.”

Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked with Rice for a long time with Arsenal told that their blue London rivals could pounce “like a ghost” out of nowhere for the 24-year-old.

Di Marzio added: “When Arsenal and Manchester United watch a player, it is always a possibility that Chelsea will intervene. They may not be concrete yet, but that can change just like that.

“Chelsea is like a ghost that follows every footballer and can appear just like that. So it just depends on what the strategy of the interested clubs is.

“But I think Manchester United and Arsenal would also be good destinations for him.”

Jorginho is out of contract in the summer, while it is widely reported that Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez is wanted by Chelsea and their interest in Rice could depend on both those two situations.

Di Marzio continued: “If we consider Chelsea. Suppose Jorginho’s contract is not renewed, then they need a comparable player.

“And if they manage to score Enzo Fernández’ signature, now or in the summer, that will of course change things too.

“Then they won’t need Declan Rice.”

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta isn’t the only one. Every top manager needs a bit of knobbery about them…


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