The Lowdown: Rice interest
Journalist Ben Jacobs has recently backed up claims of Arsenal’s interest, adding that the Irons captain could even be sold for around £70m-£75m instead.
Rice would reportedly like to stay in London, opening the door for the Gunners as well as Chelsea, while Manchester United are also said to be admirers of the England international.
The Latest: ‘First contacts’ made
He tweeted: “#Arsenal have put in their sights Declan #Rice. #AFC want to buy a defensive midfielder in the summer and the #WestHam player is a concrete option. First contacts already happened: evolving situation.”
The Verdict: No-brainer
It is a no-brainer for Arsenal to go for Rice this summer, given their strong position in the Premier League table and the likelihood that they will be able to offer him Champions League football for next season, something that the 23-year-old has recently stated as an ambition for his career.
Hailed as a ‘monster’, a ‘force of nature’, a ‘leader’ and a ‘serious talent’ by journalist Rob Blanchette, there are not many better players in Rice’s position, while former England international Paul Parker even believes that the West Ham skipper is the ‘best central midfielder in the country‘.
Rice showed his glowing admiration for Arteta and Arsenal on Boxing Day when the Gunners beat his team 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium, so a move to north London makes a lot of sense for both parties.
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