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Chelsea join race for £100m star ‘likely’ to join Arsenal this summer

The Gunners were thought to be in pole position, but may now lose out

Chelsea have ‘good chances’ of signing Arsenal’s no.1 target in successive transfer windows as they mull over a move for former academy player Declan Rice, with reports claiming that he is ‘one of their top’ midfield candidates.

The Blues are keen to strengthen in midfield, with Jorginho having departed (for Arsenal) and the futures of Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount up in the air.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are looking to do likewise despite signing Jorginho, with Thomas Partey prone to injuries and no real cover in Mikel Arteta’s squad for Granit Xhaka as it stands.

It is set to lead to a major transfer tug of war.

As per the Guardian, Rice is ‘determined to compete at a higher level and is likely to join Arsenal’ this summer, but reports from Sky Sports claim that ‘Chelsea are definitely in the race and highly interested’ in the West Ham man too.

Of course, the Blues have already hijacked two of Arsenal’s transfers in the last two windows. In the summer of 2022, they outbid Arsenal for Raphinha, though they were in turn outbid by FC Barcelona.

And, should they add Rice to their ranks, it would be continue what is becoming a running theme in Arsenal’s transfer windows.

One sticking point could be the price, however, with Rice valued at 80m euros by transfermarkt. That amount, however, would not be accepted, if West Ham boss David Moyes’ comments are anything to go by.

“He’ll be a British transfer record if he ever leaves West Ham”, Moyes explained in February.

“There’s a lot of talk about it and when you see what’s going about for the prices, I think Dec will be blowing that (British record) out of the water, that’s for sure, when it comes around.”

It means that, by Moyes’ logic, Chelsea would have to break the transfer record that they themselves broke in January when they signed Enzo Fernandez in a deal worth £105m. Arsenal, meanwhile, would have to blow their own £72m record fee out of the water.

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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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