Arsenal have reportedly drawn up a contingency plan in the event of Declan Rice joining Manchester City this summer.

Arsenal could decide to chase a move for Monaco midfielder Youssouf Fofana if Declan Rice ends up rejecting the Gunners to join Manchester City this summer, according to reports. The north Londoners are said to be in advanced negotiations with West Ham over a move for Rice, who is widely expected to take on a new challenge ahead of next season.

Arsenal have already seen two bids rejected by the Hammers, who are resigned to his exit over the coming weeks but are still hoping to be paid well in exchange for his signature. However, it has recently been reported that City could look to steal the advantage by meeting West Ham’s demands ahead of Arsenal, with Rice said to be valued at around £100million as things stand.

It seems as though Arsenal are drawing up a contingency plan in the event of Rice rejecting their advances in favour of a move to City, with Fofana having emerged as a back-up target for the Gunners in the middle of the park. That’s according to L’Equipe, who are reporting that Arsenal have joined the race for Fofana but could be set to face stiff competition for his signature.

Newcastle have been linked with a move for the 24-year-old over the last few weeks, while Inter and Roma have also been credited with an interest in bringing him to Italy this summer. West Ham, meanwhile, are said to have identified Fofana as a potential replacement for Rice when the England ace inevitably leaves the London Stadium.

The report adds that Monaco would be willing to let Fofana leave in exchange for a transfer fee in the region of £30m, which would make him a bargain alternative to Rice for Arsenal this summer if the West Ham skipper ends up joining City. Fofana was a key man for Monaco over the course of last season, making 47 appearances and scoring two goals in the process, while he has also won 10 caps for France and came off the bench in last year’s World Cup final.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal will choose to explore a move for Fofana this summer, with their interest likely to depend on whether or not they manage to land Rice before the new Premier League campaign gets underway. City would seemingly have a greater level of financial freedom than Arsenal in terms of how much they can spend on the move, although only time will tell where Rice will be playing his football when the on-pitch action resumes in August.


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