What’s the latest?
And it has been widely reported that Chelsea could be a possible landing spot for the Englishman with three contract offers rejected at the London Stadium.
However, it appears as if the Gunners’ form this season has elevated them into the picture ahead of the summer transfer as a potential destination for the midfielder.
And speaking on the House of Champions YouTube channel, Fabrizio Romano has claimed those at Arsenal have held talks over making a move for Rice in the coming months:
“So it’s true that Arsenal internally are discussing about Declan Rice. I’m told that right after the Mykhailo Mudryk story, they had a meeting. A meeting planning for the present – [Leandro] Trossard, Jakub Kiwior and more – and the future. And in that meeting, Declan Rice was mentioned also as a possibility, a player they really like.”
Staying in London?
It does appear as if Rice is going to be on the lookout for a new club in the summer which could potentially make two big English midfielders available for sale in the coming months.
Jude Bellingham is also expected to be open to a move away from Borussia Dortmund in the summer with Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United all linked with the 19-year-old.
And with this in mind, Bellingham’s potential availability could work in the favour of Arsenal if they are to pursue Rice in the summer.
Bellingham is being hailed as one of the best young talents in world football on the back of a fine spell with Dortmund and his recent displays in the World Cup.
And if those Premier League clubs are set to battle it out for Bellingham over the coming months, it could leave Arsenal with an improved chance of landing Rice.
If Arsenal are to focus solely on Rice whilst the other teams possibly look at Bellingham or even both, it could be possible the Englishman feels as if the Gunners may be the best place for him.
And when they are competing at the top of the table as they are now, it is only improving Arsenal’s chances of landing Rice – who was called a “superstar” by Sky Sports’ Bianca Westwood.
In comparison to Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey, Rice has provided almost an identical number of tackles per 90 as Partey and significantly more than Xhaka (via FBref).
He also finds himself sandwiched between the current Arsenal duo for passes per 90 but is lacking slightly in his output in front of goal – albeit playing in a struggling West Ham side.
But if the Gunners are going to add the quality England midfielder, then it seems as if the Kroenke’s will need to get their chequebook opened with the Hammers looking for a serious figure of money.