Arsenal transfer news: Declan Rice leaning towards joining Mikel Arteta over Chelsea
Arsenal have already gone head-to-head with the Blues this month over the signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Of course, the Ukrainian made the switch to Stamford Bridge last weekend and made his debut for Graham Potter’s side yesterday after Arsenal couldn’t match Shakhtar Donetsk’s demands.
Rice was part of Chelsea’s academy set-up before he joined West Ham at the age of 14 and it seemed likely that he would return to his boyhood club eventually.
But Arsenal are emerging as the frontrunners to sign the Englishman because he is eager to link-up with Arteta.
Rice leaning towards Arsenal move
The Guardian reports that Rice is leaning towards a switch to the Emirates Stadium this summer because of the prospect of playing under Arteta.
The Spaniard is apparently already planning for the midfielder’s arrival and is looking at where he would fit into his team.
Arsenal have made the West Ham man their top priority ahead of the summer and are growing in confidence that they’ll beat Chelsea to signing him.
The outlet notes that Rice is ‘almost certain’ to leave the east London club in a few months’ time and is keen to play in the Champions League.
Arsenal fans may be wary of getting their hopes up after the club was also confident over signing Mudryk just over a week ago.
But it seems that they are in a strong position when it comes to signing Rice and much could depend on where both Chelsea and Arsenal end up finishing in the league this season.
Potter’s side currently face a tough task in terms of qualifying for the Champions League as they sit 10 points behind fourth-place Manchester United.
Arteta’s side look nailed on to at least qualify for the Champions League and are dreaming even bigger as they sit five points clear at the top of the table.
Rice certainly won’t come cheap though, with West Ham believed to be aiming to bring in around £100 million for the midfielder. But Ben Jacobs has hinted that he could actually be available for around £70 million.
Arsenal will certainly need to push the boat out if they want to sign the England international this summer. He would be an excellent addition to Arteta’s squad and could become their main man in midfield for years to come.
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