Good news for Arsenal fans as Mikel Arteta has reportedly spoken directly with £70m target at the Emirates

Arsenal “still remain in pole position” to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice at the Emirates Stadium this summer, journalist Rudy Galetti has told GIVEMESPORT.

 

Mikel Arteta will prioritise bolstering his options in the centre of the park to his Gunners squad in the upcoming transfer window.

 

Arsenal transfer news – Declan Rice

According to Sky Sports News, West Ham will allow Declan Rice to leave the London Stadium for a club competing in the Champions League at a fee of £120m.

The same publication says that Arsenal remains the most likely club for the £60,000 per-week earner, but Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are also interested.

 

However, The Sun reports that the Gunners fear they could be priced out of Rice’s services in the same way as they were when Chelsea gazumped them in their pursuit of £88m Shakhtar Donetsk and Ukraine winger Mykhailo Mudryk.

Journalist Paul Brown has recently told GIVEMESPORT that Arsenal could have an issue if they want to sign the West Ham captain and Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo financially.

But Galetti suggests that the north London outfit have contacted Rice, with Arteta even having a direct conversation with the midfielder.

 

What has Galetti said about Arsenal and Rice?

Galetti told GIVEMESPORT: “Arsenal still remain in pole position for Declan Rice. They’ve had numerous contacts with the player. Even Arteta has spoken directly with him. It’s put the Gunners in a privileged position.

 

“However, they have not yet explored the economic aspect, either with the player or West Ham, who, until the end of the season, have no intention to be involved in advanced talks with any club.”

Would Rice be an upgrade in Arsenal’s midfield?

Despite Arteta’s outfit making a serious bid to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title this season, Rice would be an upgrade on the options the Spanish head coach has at his disposal in midfield.

 

On the face of it, Granit Xhaka’s place in the starting XI could be under threat with the addition of the 41-cap England midfielder.

 

The London-born star, valued at £70m by Transfermarkt, is six years Xhaka’s junior, indicating he will be a more long-term prospect in the middle of the park than the Gunners vice-captain.

In a defensive aspect, Rice is more active in the middle of the park than his Swiss counterpart, having made an average of 2.3 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game in the Premier League this term, according to WhoScored.

 

Meanwhile, Xhaka has made just 0.9 tackles and 0.4 interceptions, showing his inferiority to Rice in this department.

 

Therefore, Rice would be seen as an upgrade on Xhaka in the centre of the park for Arteta’s side next season.

 


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