Arsenal ‘working on structure’ of club-record deal as European giants join race for Arteta’s ‘priority’

Jason Soutar
Declan Rice with the Arsenal and Bayern Munich badges

Arsenal could face competition from Bayern Munich for the signing of West Ham United captain Declan Rice, according to Christian Falk.

Rice is the Gunners’ number-one priority this summer as Mikel Arteta looks to build on what is expected to be a second-place finish in the Premier League.

There is a lot of interest in the England midfielder with Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City also believed to be keen.

And Bayern Munich have now been thrown into the mix by German journalist Falk.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with Rice for quite some time and former head coach Thomas Tuchel was reportedly eager to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel, now in charge of Bayern, is evidently still a fan and ‘is interested’ in the 24-year-old, Falk says.

Writing on Twitter, Falk stated that the Bundesliga champions do not fancy their chances of landing the West Ham skipper.

He said: ‘Bayern know the chances are slim due to the great English competition.’

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Rice is expected to cost a fee in the region of £100million as he enters the final year of his contract. Importantly though, the Hammers have the option to extend the player’s deal until 2025.

Nearly every publication in England are reporting that Rice is Arteta’s top priority, with some stating that the Spaniard wants to bring him in alongside Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, who Arsenal failed to lure from Brighton with a £70m bid in January.

Despite the level of competition for the midfielder’s signature, Arsenal are believed to be confident they can land Arteta’s top target.

This has been emphasised once again by The Telegraph’s Matt Law, who says the Gunners are ‘working on structuring a deal worth £92m’ for Rice.

West Ham are hoping to receive ‘as much as possible’ up front in what would be a club-record signing for Arsenal.

The report adds: ‘Despite interest from Manchester United, Arsenal remain confident they can agree a deal with West Ham and land Rice this summer.’.

Fabrizio Romano said on Wednesday that Arsenal will ‘insist’ on Rice (whatever that means) with the Irons yet to decide their asking price.

Granit Xhaka is now expected to leave the Gunners at the end of the season with Bayer Leverkusen interested in signing the Switzerland captain.

This probably means Arteta will try to sign two top-class midfielders. You would expect it to be Rice and Caicedo. What a summer that would be.

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