Major blow for Arsenal as ‘new favourites’ emerge in race to sign £100m Premier League star

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal target Rice

Arsenal are reportedly still ‘keeping tabs’ on West Ham United star Declan Rice but Manchester City are the ‘new favourites’ to sign him this summer.

Rice is likely to leave West Ham this summer as the London club have reportedly already accepted that their prized asset will move on.

The midfielder has shone for the Premier League outfit but he has outgrown them and is ready for a significant move elsewhere.

He is in a strong position as several top clubs in the Premier League are in the market for new midfielders ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with him in recent months and he is said to be their ‘top target’. This comes after their failure to sign Moises Caicedo during the January transfer window.

Graeme Bailey has told TEAMtalk that the fee for Rice “could be over £100m”.

“The race for Declan Rice is again intensifying,” Bailey told TEAMtalk. “He is leaving West Ham United this summer – everyone knows it, but it is again unclear where he might end up.

“For a long time, most of the big six wanted him, but that interest narrowed as other targets came up, to the point that Chelsea were very much in pole position to secure his signature.

“And Chelsea remain enticed with the idea of bringing Rice back to the club he began his career with, the club he supported as a child.

“But there are now facing real competition for the England star.

“Arsenal are keeping tabs on the situation as we know, but their interest will be dependent on the fee West Ham ask, which could be over £100m.”

While Arsenal are serious about signing Rice, Man City are ‘ready to beat’ them to the signing and Pep Guardiola’s side are the ‘new favourites’ to recruit the England international.

Bailey feels that City “need watching” as they have “always appreciated” Rice.

“One side that needs watching is Manchester City who are again seriously considering him as part of a possible midfield overhaul,” Bailey added.

“With Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and possibly Kalvin Phillips all possible departures, there will be more than enough room at City to take him and they have always appreciated him.

“And I am told that their interest in Jude Bellingham would not mean one or the other, they could be taking both.

“The same can’t be said of Liverpool as their main interest remains firmly in the pursuit of Jude Bellingham – who is yet to make a decision on his future. But they won’t be looking at both players.

“Manchester United have always liked Rice too. But following the arrival of Casemiro last summer, it does not appear they have rekindled their interest at this point.”

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