HOT TRANSFER NEWS: Arsenal could now have ‘clear run’ at signing £80m star at the Emirates
Arsenal could get a ‘clear run’ at West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in the summer transfer window, journalist Paul Brown has told GiveMeSport.
The Gunners are widely believed to be in the market for the 24-year-old who has impressed for both club and country in recent campaigns.
Arsenal transfer news – Declan Rice
According to The Times, Arsenal have now made Rice their top target ahead of next term as Mikel Arteta looks to add further strength in depth to his engine room options.
Rice, who is believed to be valued at £80 million, has turned down the offer of a new six-year contract from West Ham and has since publicly expressed his desire to compete for silverware and play in the Champions League.
The England international is also believed to be a long-term target of Chelsea, the side who released him from their academy when he was just 14.
A recent report from Football Insider has claimed that Arsenal are now leading their rivals in the race for Rice’s signature and that they are in ‘sustained talks’ with the player’s representatives.
It’s believed that the north London outfit are willing to offer the defensive-minded dynamo a contract worth £200,000-per-week in order to tempt him to the Emirates Stadium.
What has Brown said about Rice?
Brown has told GMS that he believes Arsenal may be the only realistic potential suitor for Rice due to Chelsea’s recent expenditure.
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He said: “Chelsea spent so much money in the last two transfer windows that I don’t think they would have the capacity, shall we say, to sign someone like Declan Rice without a huge fire sale of players simply because they might be in trouble with cost control rules in the Premier League.
“So, it’s possible that Arsenal get a clear run on Rice this summer, which would be incredible.”
Who could Rice replace at Arsenal?
Arsenal signed Jorginho from Chelsea in January in a £12 million deal after failing to prise Moises Caicedo away from Brighton & Hove Albion.
Meanwhile, Albert Sambi Lokonga joined Crystal Palace on a short-term loan deal, and doubts remain over his long-term future at the club.
Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, and Granit Xhaka are the other options available to Arteta in the middle of the park, and Rice would arguably be an improvement on all of them.
In truth, Rice has the ability and potential to become a key figure at the heart of Arsenal’s midfield should he make the switch, displacing any of the current options in north London.
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