Arsenal are growing confident of signing Declan Rice ahead of the alternatives, with West Ham United accepting he’s on the way out.
The Evening Standard report that Declan Rice is Arsenal’s primary target this summer, and confidence is growing they can beat Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City to the England international’s signature.
Rice wants to compete in the Champions League next season, and his current club – West Ham United – accept that he’ll leave this summer.
The midfielder is in the final two years of his contract and doesn’t plan to extend it.
The Standard add that Arsenal considered a January move for Rice, but West Ham insisted he wasn’t for sale mid-season and the player wouldn’t have wanted to leave them in the middle of a relegation battle anyway.
Transfer talks are set to start up again once Arsenal and West Ham conclude their club campaigns.
Former West Ham and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is seemingly eyeing up a reunion in north London, hoping that Rice will pick the Gunners for a summer transfer.
“He’s a midfielder who can do anything,” Wilshere said. “Anyone who supports any club would want Dec to join.
“If I’m talking from a selfish point of view, in north London, I think he would be very good under Mikel’s watch.
“Mikel would develop him, bring him on even more and he would be massive for the team as well. I have had conversations with Dec and told him what he is doing is unbelievable, he is captain of a big Premier League club and is always learning.
“I’m looking forward to wherever he goes. I hope it is Arsenal, it would be a massive signing and a perfect fit.”
The Guardian recently reported that Rice is almost certain to leave West Ham this summer, with the midfielder hoping to compete at a higher level than his current club’s relegation scrap.
The same outlet suggested Rice is likely to join Arsenal, who are on the lookout for midfield reinforcements given their current batch of options are mostly entering their thirties.
The Telegraph reported last month that Rice remained a possible target for Chelsea this summer, but Arsenal are currently considered the favourites to sign him.
David Ornstein wrote that Rice could cost between £75m and £85m this summer.