Arsenal receive huge transfer boost with key target 'favouring' move to the Emirates because of Arteta
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Declan Rice is favouring a move to Arsenal this summer due to the prospect of working under Mikel Arteta, according to reports.
Rice looks destined to leave relegation threatened West Ham at the end of the season, with the 24-year-old rejecting three contract extensions and keen to play in the Champions League.
Arteta is thought to be a big admirer of the England international, and has made him a priority in the summer.
However, he must fend off interest from London rivals Chelsea, who have already beaten them to the signing of Mykhailo Mudryk this January.
The Blues have been long-term favourites to sign Rice, with many fans believing Stamford Bridge will be his next destination.
The midfielder played in Chelsea's academy where he became friends with England teammate Mason Mount, who is also thought to be a prime mover in Rice's potential move.
But in a twist of events, Arsenal may have the upper hand, after reports emerged suggesting Rice was keen to work under Arteta.
Rice keen to join Arteta
According to The Guardian, the prospect of moving to the Emirates Stadium and working under Arteta appeals to Rice, with the Spaniard having "drawn up plans for where the West Ham captain would fit into his team."
After seeing the Arsenal boss transform the Gunners into title contenders, he is convinced that his coaching would make him a better midfielder, claims the report.
West Ham originally wanted £100million for Rice. But with his contract set to run out in the summer of 2024, David Moyes could be forced to let him leave for less, with a cut-price fee of £80million currently the figure being discussed.
Rice: Arsenal are a 'top team'
Gunners fans speculated over whether Rice was interested in a move to the Emirates after his post-match comments back in December, following the Hammers' 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Boxing Day.
Rice praised Arteta's side, stating: "I think they’re a top team, you can see they're coached incredibly well, the attacking talent, it’s a young squad, they could go the whole way for sure. They’re a good team."
"We tried to stop them first half but it’s really hard. In the end, we come up short and it’s frustrating."
With Leandro Trossard and left-sided defender Jakub Kiwior already secured, just a central midfielder remains to complete Arteta's January checklist.
Despite Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey's faultless performances this season, neither are getting any younger - with Arteta clearly thinking ahead.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Arsenal, Declan Rice, West Ham United, Mikel Arteta, Premier League, Chelsea, Transfers, Football