Rice pursuit stepped up


Arsenal preparing to accelerate their pursuit of Declan Rice

Arsenal are reportedly preparing to accelerate their pursuit of Declan Rice.

The 24-year-old captained the Hammers to European success on Wednesday night with David Moyes ‘s side beating Fiorentina 2-1 in the final of the Europa Conference League.

Rice has again been an instrumental player for West Ham this season, featuring on 50 occasions in all competitions, scoring five goals and registering four assists in the process.

The England international only has another year left to run on his contract at the London Stadium, though, and West Ham chairman David Sullivan has confirmed via CandH that he will be sold this summer.

Sullivan, speaking in the aftermath of the win over Fiorentina, said that the Hammers had finally admitted defeat when it comes to keeping hold of the midfielder, who will seek pastures new ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

The co chair has said that he is expecting ‘offers to arrive today’, with a number of clubs keen to secure his signature this summer.

However, Arsenal have seemingly emerged as the frontrunners for the former Chelsea youngster, and according to The Daily Telegraph the Gunners will step up their pursuit in the coming days.

The report claims that a move for Rice could reach £92m, with West Ham not prepared to let him leave in a cut-price deal despite the player being determined to move on.

Rice has been with the Hammers since 2014, moving to the club after his release from Chelsea.

The Englishman made his debut for the East London club in 2017, and he has now featured for his current side on 245 occasions in all competitions, scoring 15 goals and registering 13 assists.

Speaking during the 2022 World Cup, Rice expressed a desire to play Champions League football at this stage of his career, which Arsenal would be able to offer if he moved to the Emirates Stadium.

Despite the Gunners seemingly being in pole position, Man United are allegedly still firmly in the race for the midfielder, as Erik Ten Hag looks to boost his options in that area of the field.

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