Arsenal have made West Ham skipper Declan Rice one of their top priorities of the summer transfer window.
Declan Rice, 24, is widely expected to leave West Ham before the start of the 2023/24 season, with Arsenal understood to be preparing to battle the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea for his services over the coming months. The defensive midfielder has long been a consistent performer for the Irons, while he’s also been a mainstay for Gareth Southgate’s England in recent years.
Arsenal’s desire to sign Rice is well known and they are reportedly set to lodge a structured £90million offer for him. However, West Ham significantly want to part ways with their star performer and believe that Man United would fulfil their demands. Keeping that in mind, Arsenal have lined up Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi and Ruben Neves of Wolves as alternatives to Rice.
Granit Xhaka edging closer to Arsenal exit
Granit Xhaka has hinted that a decision on his future is expected this week ahead of Arsenal’s final game of the season against Wolves on Saturday.
The Switzerland international, 30, has enjoyed a highly productive season at the Emirates Stadium, coming up with seven goals and as many assists in 46 games across all competitions. He has helped Arsenal qualify for the Champions League for the first time in seven years after forging a strong partnership with Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard in the engine room.
However, Xhaka is contracted to Arsenal until the summer of 2024 with the option of a further year, and he is rumoured to be on the verge of signing for Bayer Leverkusen in a £13m deal. Bayer Leverkusen have entered advanced negotiations with the central midfielder, and the Gunners will not stand in his way of an exit as they plan a midfield revamp.
Arsenal ready to splash big on Declan Rice?
Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Declan Rice by opening talks with West Ham. The Hammers want a significant up-front cash lump sum for Rice – around £85-95m—although manager David Moyes has been bullish that a fee of over £100m will be required to prise his skipper away from the club.
Key for the Hammers board, meanwhile, is the structure of Rice’s deal. They know clubs such as Man United and Chelsea are also interested in the England international and would want a bidding war. The more money any club offer as an advance on the midfielder’s transfer fee, the more alluring it is to the East London club.
One thing West Ham are wary of is that time is running out on their skipper’s contract. Rice can walk away for free from the London Stadium in 2024, so Arsenal hold a bit of an advantage in these negotiations with West Ham.
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