Arsenal ‘confident’ of beating Chelsea to £80m man as they look to avoid Mykhaylo Mudryk repeat

The Gunners are already well into their summer recruitment planning

Arsenal are ‘confident’ of beating Chelsea to the signing of West Ham’s Declan Rice this summer, as they eye up the £80m man to replace Granit Xhaka in Mikel Arteta’s side.

The Gunners want to continue their rebuild and, according to the Times, they are aiming to ‘sign at least four players’, with the West Ham man top of their wishlist.

Chelsea have also been interested in Rice, their former academy graduate, since Frank Lampard was in charge but it is claimed that Mikel Arteta and co. are ‘confident’ that they can beat the Blues to his signature.

They will, of course, be wary of their west London rivals, who have hijacked deals for Arsenal’s no.1 target in each of the last two transfer windows, though they themselves ultimately lost out on Raphinha to Barcelona.

It is reported that Rice will set either party back a fee of around £80m, with the 24-year-old out of contract in 2024 as it stands, though it is believed that West Ham have an option to extend that deal by a further year should they wish.

David Moyes has previously dismissed a sale of Rice, who is his side’s captain, at that sort of fee. In January he revealed that “He’ll be a British transfer record if he ever leaves West Ham”, before adding that “There’s a lot of talk about it [his move] and when you see what’s going about for the prices, I think Dec will be blowing that out of the water, that’s for sure, when it comes around.”

Arsenal are also keen on adding another midfielder, having had three bids for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo rejected in January, while they hold an interest in his Segulls teammate Alexis Mac Allister too.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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