Declan Rice is showing a preference to join Arsenal over Chelsea this summer so he can work with Mikel Arteta, according to a report.
The Guardian report that Declan Rice is leaning towards joining Arsenal this summer because it would give him the chance to play for Mikel Arteta – who has already drawn up plans for how Rice would fit into his team.
The Guardian add that Rice is Arsenal’s top summer target, and they’re increasingly confident of doing a deal ahead of Chelsea.
Rice would reportedly be confident of Arteta’s coaching making him a better midfielder, having seen the Spaniard turn his current Arsenal side into title contenders.
As well as the chance to work under Arteta, Rice is also keen to play in the Champions League, which looks significantly more likely at Arsenal than Chelsea right now.
CBS Sports reported this week that Rice has been speaking to teammates about Arsenal with effusive praise behind the scenes, admitting he’s stunned by the progress the Gunners have made.
The report added that Rice’s camp have been planning a move away from West Ham, with Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea all in the race.
On Monday afternoon, The Times broke the news that Arsenal had made West Ham’s Declan Rice their top summer target, and that they’re growing in confidence they can beat Chelsea to the signing.
West Ham are expected to have to sell in the summer because Rice’s deal expires in 2024 and he’s been unwilling to sign a new one.
They do have an option to extend by a year, so the transfer is still expected to cost around £80m.
The Telegraph claim part of the reason Arsenal didn’t want to overpay for Mudryk is that they didn’t want to disrupt their summer plans – which seemingly includes this big-money deal for Rice.
The Athletic confirm that Arsenal are planning a move for Rice, and that whilst West Ham won’t sell this month, they admit internally that they’ll have to sell this summer to get good value.