West Ham think Declan Rice is going to leave amid Arsenal transfer interest
Mikel Arteta is prioritising the signing of another forward player this month and Arsenal are continuing their search after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk.
But the Gunners are lacking quality depth in the middle of the park, with Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny the only back-up options to Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.
It seems that Arsenal are putting their plans for midfield reinforcements on hold until the summer and they are eyeing a marquee signing in Rice.
Italian journalist Rudy Galetti claims Arteta’s men have already made contact with the Hammers over the possibility of signing Rice ahead of the summer window.
And West Ham are fully aware that they face an uphill battle in terms of convincing the 24-year-old to stay at the club.
West Ham think Rice is going to leave
West Ham are apparently resigned to the possibility of losing Rice this summer, according to The Evening Standard.
But the outlet notes that they will hold firm on their valuation of the Englishman, with the Hammers set to demand well over £100 million amid interest from Arsenal.
The Gunners have apparently made Rice their top target ahead of the summer window and he is understood to be keen on a switch to the Emirates Stadium.
Rice seems destined to leave east London over the coming months, especially after their poor start to the season.
The Hammers are currently sitting 18th in the Premier League table and will need to improve dramatically to ensure they are not in a relegation battle come the end of the season.
While Partey and Xhaka are performing exceptionally well this season, Arsenal are lacking depth in midfield.
Rice won’t come cheap though, despite Ben Jacobs hinting that he could actually be available for around £70 million, rather than a figure above £100 million.
But Rice would represent a statement signing for Arsenal in the summer, especially if they are coming off the back of winning the Premier League title.
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