Mikel Arteta Has Personally Spoken To Arsenal’s Top Summer Transfer Target
Mikel Arteta has spoken to Declan Rice ahead of a potential summer transfer.
That’s according to transfer journalist Rudy Galetti, who claims the Gunners’ boss is eager to work with West Ham’s Rice next season.
Despite being the Hammers’ club captain and a key figure for David Moyes, Rice, 24, is expected to depart West Ham this summer in favour of a move to a club competing in Europe.
And following several months of speculation, Moyes recently admitted that this season could be Rice’s last at the London Stadium.
“We honestly hope he stays,” Moyes told reporters last week, as quoted by Sky Sports. “We’d love for him to be a West Ham player but we are aware that might not be the case at the end of the season.
“So that’s one of the scenarios around planning. There are plans that we have Dec here but we’re also fully aware there is a good chance we won’t have him.”
Although several top clubs are in the mix to sign the 24-year-old, including defending champions Manchester City (Football Insider), Arsenal are believed to be the favourites to win the race.
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And providing some insight on the Gunners’ pursuit of England’s Rice, Galetti, who spoke to GiveMeSport, revealed how Arteta has already spoken to the West Ham skipper.
“Arsenal still remain in pole position for Declan Rice,” he said.
“They’ve had numerous contacts with the player. Even Arteta has spoken directly with him. It’s put the Gunners in a privileged position.
“However, they have not yet explored the economic aspect, either with the player or West Ham, who, until the end of the season, have no intention to be involved in advanced talks with any club.”
Since being promoted to the Hammers’ first team in 2017, Rice, who has 12 months left on his deal, has scored 14 goals and provided 13 assists in 240 matches in all competitions.