• Arsenal hopeful of beating clubs including Chelsea to Rice
  • West Ham midfielder understood to be open to joining Arsenal

Arsenal will look to sign Declan Rice in the summer and are optimistic about beating rivals, Chelsea chief among them, to the West Ham and England midfielder’s signature.

Rice is Mikel Arteta’s top target and could become Arsenal’s record signing, beating the £72m paid for Nicolas Pépé, if a deal goes through. The player is understood to be open to the potential move. Arteta has been keen to bolster his midfield options for the long term and the West Ham captain, at 24 with a wealth of domestic and international experience, would be ideal. Rice has been made aware of where he would fit into Arteta’s plans.

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