Gary Neville highlights Declan Rice problem as £100m Arsenal transfer solution emerges

-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images))
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images))

Despite plenty of international football over the summer, anticipation is building for the beginning of Arsenal's next shot at the Premier League title.

Mikel Arteta's side were forced to settle for second place behind rivals Manchester City last season after leading the title race for much of the campaign. Provided Arteta's players return from their various international exploits with a clean bill of health, the manager looks to be in a good place to go again with a fresh challenge for silverware.

That said, the prospect of new signings should not be ruled out. After all, the Gunners' drastic improvement over the last five years has come from constant scouring of the market and smart additions. With that, has rounded up the latest Arsenal news and transfer gossip on Friday, June 21...

Neville highlights 'nervous' Rice display

Gary Neville gave an honest examination of Declan Rice's performance at the heart of England's midfield in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Denmark.

The Three Lions were held in Euro 2024's group stages, meaning they now require victory against Slovenia to ensure they progress top of their group. A second lacklustre performance in as many matches has left many England fans disheartened, and former United captain Neville was particularly frustrated with the use of a "nervous" Rice in defensive midfield.

"Arteta moved Declan Rice out of that position for the last 15 games of the season because he's not that good at playing there," Neville said on punditry duty for ITV Sport. "Today is the most nervous I've seen Declan Rice. I think he's better moving up the pitch.

"Think about what [Toni] Kroos and Rodri and Vitinha does for Portugal, these players who get the team playing. Every team that's great has this type of player. We don't have that - [Kobbie] Mainoo maybe, [Adam] Wharton? We have to resolve that problem. I'm talking England generally. We've never been able to get out from the back in moments of pressure.

"When [Rice] goes to receive the ball deep with his back to play, I think he's quite basic at that. I don't think he's as good as the other players who play that position. When he's brilliant, he's marauding forward, he's up on top of the game, he's aggressive, most of his touches [for Arsenal] were in that high left channel. For some reason we don't have that balance in midfield and it's a massive problem." says: "Neville is wrong: Rice is good enough to play as a defensive midfielder. As the saying goes, a bad workman always blames his tools. Have we already forgotten Rice's years at West Ham? This England slump can't be put down to any of the players, as tired as some of them look, and instead comes down to Gareth Southgate's idea of a system and it not suiting his current line-up. In that sense, yes, Rice is better-utilised further forward as Mikel Arteta plays him."

Alternate route opens up for Bruno Guimaraes swoop

According to Football Transfers via Chronicle Live, Bruno Guimaraes has been identified as the answer to Arsenal's midfield conundrum should they fail to land Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi.

The Gunners have a good relationship with the Spanish club following Kieran Tierney's loan last season, though links to Zubimendi have always been met with suggestions of a reluctance to sell. Newcastle have a similar stance regarding their Brazilian maestro, though a £100m release clause in his contract with a limited window to activate it provides a glimmer of hope.

The Magpies still remain confident that no rival would dare meet the buy-out fee, though in a bid to address that it has been said Arsenal could offer up a number of players plus a cash sum in a part-swap exchange.

Who the player would be remains to be seen, but it is believed that Oleksandr Zinchenko, Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah could all be of use to Eddie Howe. says: "Guimaraes' signing would certainly be the stand-out piece of business for the summer and could be exactly what is needed to display that added fight ahead of another title race with Man City.

"Time is of the essence to move for the 26-year-old, but given his influence in such a short period of time at St James' Park, the Gunners would be foolish not to do everything within their power to bring him to the Emirates Stadium. That said, perhaps a stronger defensive-minded option is required rather than another box-to-box player."