Arenal are closing in on signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in the summer transfer window after agreeing personal terms with the 24-year-old, according to Football Insider.
The online news portal claims the Gunners are yet to agree a fee with the Hammers. West Ham want £100m, however, Mikel Arteta’s side want to pay around £80-85m for the England international.
The North Londoners are in the market to sign a replacement for Granit Xhaka – who is set to leave the club this summer to join Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth £13m. The 30-year-old is said to have decided against extending his contract with Arsenal and wants a new challenge
Xhaka has impressed during his time at the Emirates Stadium – making 297 appearances, scoring 23 goals, and providing 29 assists across all competitions. Last season, he helped the Gunners mount a title challenge but fell short to eventual winners Manchester City after finishing second in the Premier League.
The Switzerland international racked up 47 appearances in all competitions and made 16 goal contributions for Arsenal. With his move to Leverkusen edging closer, the club will need to bring in a top-class midfielder and have identified Rice as a perfect fit.
Several midfielders have been linked with a move to Arsenal including Mason Mount, Martin Zubimendi, Moises Caicedo, Ilkay Gundogan, and Orkun Kokcu as Arteta looks to revamp his midfield options.
Rice is Arsenal’s top priority this summer and according to Football Insider, the England midfielder has said ‘yes’ to Arteta’s project. The midfielder has also agreed personal terms after accepting the club’s proposal and wants to remain in London, making the Gunners favourites to complete the deal.
His contract with West Ham will expire in 2024 although the club have the option to extend his stay a further 12 months. This could force David Moyes’ side to consider selling him rather than losing him for free.
Rice played an instrumental role for West Ham as they ended their 43-year wait for a major trophy with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League on Wednesday night.
He made 50 appearances for the Hammers last season, scored five goals, and provided four assists in all competitions. After clinching, the Europa Conference League title, West Ham owner David Sullivan confirmed that Rice has played his last game for the club.