According to sources, Declan Rice is a “huge admirer” of Mikel Arteta and his work to transform Arsenal into Premier League contenders.
Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to sign the 24-year-old midfielder, who is expected to leave West Ham in the summer.
With less than 18 months left on his contract, Rice is one of the most sought-after midfielders in the Premier League, but unnamed sources say the race is now “opening up” for Arsenal to complete a deal.
Arsenal are apparently prepared to increase Rice’s weekly salary to the £200,000 range, and, since he is refusing to renew his contract, West Ham are expected to ask for a price around £70-80 million for their most valuable player.
It is anticipated that Arsenal will not face any problems with the fee as they are likely to be bolstered financially by their likely qualification for the Champions League this season.
Rice, who is the captain of West Ham, has played every minute of every match in the Premier League so far.
He has made no secret of his desire to play at the highest level possible and this is not the first time we have heard reports that he has been sounding out a move to Arsenal.