Declan Rice is favoring a move to Arsenal over Chelsea as he leaves West Ham

Declan Rice is leaning towards joining Arsenal Due to the possibility of playing for Mikel Arteta this summer, who plans to fit the West Ham captain into his squad.

Arsenal have made Rice their top transfer target and are increasingly confident of beating Chelsea to his signature. The midfielder is almost certain to leave West Ham, who are battling relegation this season, and is keen to test himself in the Champions League.

Rice was in Chelsea’s academy before being released at the age of 14 and is expected to return to his boyhood club there. However, Arteta is a big fan of Rice, who is regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe, and Arsenal are emerging as favorites to buy him. Manchester United are also expected to join the race for the 24-year-old.

West Ham hope to fetch more than £100m for Rice, which would make him the most expensive British player. However, the England international’s contract runs until the summer of 2024, with the option of a further year, and that could force West Ham to settle for a fee in the region of £80m.

Numbers do not deter Arsenal and they believe they can fend off interest from Chelsea, who beat their rivals. Signing of Mykhailo Mudryk for £70m From Shakhtar Donetsk last week.

The prospect of moving to the Emirates Stadium and working under Arteta appeals to Rice. He has seen Arteta turn Arsenal into title contenders this season and is confident the Spaniard’s coaching will make him a better midfielder.

Arteta has responded to the loss to Mudryk by strengthening his attack Signature of Leandro Trossard from Brighton, while he is close to adding to his defensive options by signing Jakub Kiwier from Spezia.

Adding a central midfielder this summer will be a priority for Arsenal, who host Manchester United on Sunday. Arteta believes Rice will provide superior competition for Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey.

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