Arsenal ‘confident’ about signing top Premier League ace at stunning £75m discount, but Chelsea must be beaten to punch
Arsenal are ‘quietly confident’ they can secure the signing of West Ham’s Declan Rice for £75million less than his original transfer value, though Chelsea are posing a serious threat to the Gunners’ deal, according to a trusted source.
Rice is almost certain to leave West Ham in the summer transfer window. He has run down his contract to put himself in a strong negotiating position.
With the midfielder’s deal due to expire in June 2024, the Hammers must sell him at the end of the season to pick up a big sum of money. If they fail to do this, he could walk away from the club on a free transfer next summer. That would be a huge blow given he is one of West Ham’s most valuable players.
Rice has been linked with pretty much all of England’s top clubs, such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. There have also been rumours of Real Madrid being interested in him, though the Spanish giants are prioritising Jude Bellingham as things stand.
In the last few months Arsenal have raced ahead of Man Utd and Chelsea to put themselves in pole position for Rice.
Mikel Arteta needs a new midfielder to provide competition for the likes of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. And Rice could form a top midfield trio with one of those two players and club captain Martin Odegaard.
READ MORE: Arsenal to secure ‘best midfielder in the Premier League’ for next seven seasons after setting third priority
CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs has provided a big update on the Englishman’s prospective move to Emirates Stadium. During an interview with GiveMeSport, the reporter has revealed Arsenal are ‘quietly confident’ about getting Rice for £75-80million, which could see them save as much as £75m as David Moyes has previously rated him at a whopping £150m.
The only trouble for Arsenal is that Chelsea will rival them all the way, as they like Rice a lot.
Arsenal ‘quietly confident’ about significant transfer saving
Jacobs said: “I think that suitors like Arsenal and Chelsea, who may even be in the race as well, are quietly confident that they can get a player like Declan Rice for something between £75m and £80m, which sounds like a lot of money, but I think Arsenal see that as value. And I think that summarises how they’ll act in the summer generally.
“It’s not about how much they spend because they will have that financial muscle. It’s about finding value in the market and that’s always been Arsenal’s model. I don’t expect that to change regardless of winning the Champions League or the Premier League. They’ve never wanted to put it out there in the market that they’re prepared to spend wildly above the odds, even on a player that they so desperately want.”
Arsenal fans have learned to trust Arteta and sporting director Edu during recent transfer windows. For example, in January they were in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk over winger Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Ultimately, Arsenal did not quite meet Shakhtar’s valuation and so the player instead ended up at Chelsea. The west London side paid an initial £62m for him, though the deal could eventually rise to £89m through add-ons.
Arsenal soon bounced back from this transfer failure and landed Leandro Trossard from Brighton for £27m. Trossard has done very well so far, notching one goal and six assists in 12 outings for Arsenal. Mudryk, in contrast, has struggled to impress at Chelsea amid the weight of his huge transfer.
This situation shows that Arsenal know when to walk away from signings if they are too expensive. Plus they always have a great alternative up their sleeve. If Chelsea try to start a bidding war for Rice, then Arsenal will likely walk away from it and sign a different Prem star.
Meanwhile, Michael Owen has called an Arsenal player who gets the best out of Bukayo Saka ‘underrated’.
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