Declan Rice labelled ‘perfect’ for Arsenal as Gunners make him ‘top transfer target this summer’ and are ‘confident’ they can beat Chelsea and Manchester United to signing of West Ham star

    Arsenal have been linked with an £80million summer transfer for Declan Rice and are ‘confident’ they can beat Chelsea to the signing.

    The West Ham midfielder is set to be at the centre of a bidding war, with Manchester United also among those to be linked with him.

    But Arsenal have been linked with a swoop for the Hammers and England star

    But Arsenal have been linked with a swoop for the Hammers and England star

    The Times reports that the Gunners have made Rice ‘their top target this summer’, and believe their status as Premier League leaders puts them in a strong position to land him.

    West Ham could be forced to sell their prized asset as his contract only runs until 2024, although there is an option to extend his deal a further year.

    The signing of Rice would be in line with Mikel Arteta’s policy of signing young and aggressive players.

    And talkSPORT’s Danny Murphy believes Arsenal should do what they can to get the 24-year-old.

    “I think that would be a huge, huge move for Arsenal,” Murphy said.

    “You’re not just getting a wonderful midfielder who would be there for the rest of his career maybe if they carry on, you’re also getting an English one who fans can relate to, they know he can do it in the Premier League.

    Rice, who’s been at West Ham since 2014, is understood to have rejected multiple offers to extend his stay at the club

    Getty

    Rice, who’s been at West Ham since 2014, is understood to have rejected multiple offers to extend his stay at the club

    “He’s going to get better and I think he’ll get more of a platform to score goals.

    “I think that would be the perfect type for Arsenal because they are heavily reliant on Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.”

    The 24-year-old has previously said that he wants to play in the Champions League and Arsenal look on course to make a return as they hold an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League. Meanwhile, Chelsea are ten points off the top four.

    Arsenal have attempted to be active in the transfer window January but missed out on the signing of Mykhailo Mudryk, who opted to sign for Chelsea in an £88m deal.

    The signing of Rice would be a huge statement of intent from Arteta

    Getty

    The signing of Rice would be a huge statement of intent from Arteta

    Rice has been tipped to return to Chelsea having been released from their academy aged 14. He has a long-standing friendship with Blues star Mason Mount.

    He begun his professional career in 2017 and has 39 England caps to his name.

    Man United were linked with Rice last summer, however, it’s reported that they were put off by the Hammers’ price tag.

    The Times’ report adds that Arsenal are willing to make a ‘significant effort’ to sign Rice but will not overpay for their players having failed to cough up the huge sums Chelsea spent on Mudryk and Joao Felix.

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