Arsenal in pole position for Declan Rice transfer
Arsenal are now in pole position to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, according to a report from Football Insider.
The Lowdown: Arsenal targeting Rice
By now, Arsenal’s interest in Rice is well-known, with a report from The Guardian at the end of January indicating that the player himself was favouring a move to the Emirates Stadium, rather than returning to boyhood club Chelsea.
Another boost for the Gunners is that the midfielder would prefer to stay in the capital, which could persuade him to seek a move to north London, rather than joining the likes of Liverpool or Manchester United, who are also interested.
The Latest: Pole position
As per a report from Football Insider, Mikel Arteta is in the pole position to land the 24-year-old this summer, after receiving further encouragement behind the scenes.
In order to win the race for the Englishman, Arsenal have tried to negotiate an agreement with the player before the end of the season, and they remain in sustained contact with the representatives of the £70m – £80m midfielder.
The Verdict: Get it done
Hailed as ‘sensational’ by the media, the 39-time England international is yet again in fantastic form this season, ranked as West Ham’s best-performing Premier League player, with an average match rating of 7.21.
The Gunners missed out on signing Moises Caicedo in January, despite making a bid of £70m, however that could end up being a blessing in disguise, as Rice is expected to cost a similar amount, but he is a better player on almost all important metrics.
In the past year, the West Ham ace has averaged more interceptions, progressive carries, and a better pass-completion rate than Caicedo, although one aspect of the game that the Ecuadorian is better at is tackling.
That said, Rice should still be Arteta’s priority in the summer transfer window, and so it is fantastic news that Arsenal now appear to be leading the race.