Arsenal make Declan Rice their top summer target and are confident of beating Chelsea to £80m deal
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 17
Rice is expected to leave West Ham in the summer (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal have made their top summer transfer target and are confident they can sign the United star ahead of .

The Hammers are expected to sell Rice at the end of the season with the midfielder unwilling to sign a new contract in east .

While Manchester United were interested in a deal last summer before backing away from West Ham’s £150million valuation, Chelsea have long been considered the favourites to sign the 24-year-old when he does leave the London Stadium.

Rice played in the Chelsea academy until the age of 14 and is a lifelong Blues supporter, also best friends with Mason Mount.

While Chelsea have shown their superior financial strength this month, twice beating Arsenal to transfer targets in Joao Felix and Mkyhailo Mudryk, Arsenal are growing in confidence that they can land Rice in the summer, report.

The Gunners believe their status as Premier League leaders leaves them in a commanding position with Mikel Arteta’s side eight points clear at the top.

A midfielder and a left-sided centre-half are said to be the manager’s summer priorities with Rice fitting the bill in the middle of the park.

Arteta wants a midfielder and another centre-half in the summer (Picture: Getty)

Rice has discussed his desire to play in the Champions League with Arsenal on course to qualify for the competition for the first time in six years – possibly as league winners.

Chelsea meanwhile will need to launch a major turnaround if they are to finish in the top four this season, currently sat in 10th place, 10 points behind fourth place and 19 behind Arsenal at the top.

Rice is likely to be at the centre of a bidding war in the summer with the report adding he will cost £80million.

While Arsenal are prepared to make a significant offer for the Hammers star, the club have shown they will not be forced into overpaying for players.

Arsenal made three offers for Mudryk this month but refused to meet Shakhtar Donetsk’s valuation  with Chelsea getting the deal done for £88million.

The north London side also ended their interest in Felix after Atletico Madrid demanded a £9million loan fee for the forward.   


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