Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Declan Rice, and Jack Wilshere, who has a good relationship with his former teammate, is apparently trying to lure him to Arsenal.
Jack Wilshere and Declan Rice played together at West Ham, and Wilshere, now head coach of the Arsenal u18s, is apparently trying to use that connection to convince Rice to move across London to join the Gunners.
Rice is also being courted by Chelsea and Manchester United, but without Champions League football, Rice may think twice about a return to Stamford Bridge where he started his football career as a youngster before moving to West Ham as a 14-year-old in 2013.
The 24-year-old midfielder is expected to leave West Ham with less than 18 months remaining on his contract, and Arsenal are said to be willing to increase his weekly salary to around £200,000.
West Ham are expected to ask for a price between £70-80 million for their most valuable player with Rice is refusing to renew his contract.
Arsenal are expected to be financially strong enough to meet this asking price as they are expected to qualify for the Champions League next season and we all know the cash that competition generates.
Rice is known to be a “huge admirer” of Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta and has reportedly been asking people connected to Arsenal about the club, which could indicate his interest in joining the team.
Despite interest from Chelsea, Arsenal are still considered the favourites to sign Rice to reinforce their midfield this summer.
Rice has played every minute of every match in the Premier League this season and has been vocal about his desire to play at the highest level possible.
Against Manchester United in the FA Cup on Wednesday night, as Arsenal were destroying Everton, Rice finished the game as the Hammer’s highest-rated player. That wasn’t enough for Roy Keane to have anything nice to say about the player after the game as he questioned the large price tag on his head.
“I don’t think he’s been great this season, I really don’t. I think he’s not really kicked on,” Keane told ITV Sport, via The Evening Standard.
“For all the talk about him, a lot of good PR coming out of West Ham about how much he’s worth, I think he needs to do a lot more.
“Doesn’t score enough goals, doesn’t get enough assists.”
Rice has two goals and three assists this season from 31 appearances, 27 of which have been played as a defensive midfielder.
As Keane should know, scoring and assisting isn’t really the remit of a player in that position.
Who is Declan Rice?
Declan Rice was born on January 14, 1999, in Kingston upon Thames, England. He started his youth career with Chelsea in 2006, and after seven years with the Blues’ academy, he moved to West Ham United in 2014, where he signed a scholarship deal.
Rice made his debut for West Ham in the UEFA Europa League against FC Astra Giurgiu in August 2016, and his Premier League debut came three months later against Burnley. In 2017, he signed his first professional contract with West Ham, and he quickly established himself as a key player for the team.
Rice’s versatility and work rate have been among his strengths throughout his career. He is capable of playing as a centre-back, central midfielder, or holding midfielder. His composure and leadership qualities earned him the captaincy at West Ham.
In 2019, Rice was named as the West Ham Player of the Year, and he was also named as the Young Player of the Year in the same season. He has also represented the Republic of Ireland at international level since 2018.
Rice has been linked with several clubs in recent years, including Manchester United and Chelsea, but he has remained loyal to West Ham. However, his current contract is set to expire in 2024, and with interest from top clubs like Arsenal, he is expected to move this summer.