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Arsenal: Declan Rice may be viewed as “number one priority” this summer

Insider ExWHUemployee has revealed Arsenal may now view Declan Rice as a ‘number one priority’ in the summer transfer market amid recent links.

What’s the word?

For quite some time, Premier League rivals have been tipped to make a move for the West Ham United midfielder.

And recent reports have also begun to start naming Arsenal as a possible destination for Rice. With so many rumours around at the moment – as is always the case in January – it can be hard to work out what to believe. But, according to Ex, there is truth to these latest claims.

Indeed, while talking about the situation on The West Ham Way podcast, the insider was able to confirm that the Gunners are genuinely interested in the 23-year-old.

He said: “Declan Rice to Arsenal was talked about heavily over the week.

“There is truth, Arsenal are one of the clubs interested in him. That kind of came from nowhere, really. Chelsea, Man United, Man City, and Liverpool have always been lurking.

“But Arsenal – mainly because I don’t think people thought they had the finances to compete – now are looking at making him a number one priority. As are Chelsea, I believe.”

He did then add: “But it’s early days. He’s not going to go in January, categorically not going to go in January unless we get an obscene offer for him.”

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Midfield upgrade?

The bad news is that this deal doesn’t look likely to happen in the winter. Indeed, Rice is valued at £70 million (as per CIES) and so it seems unlikely the Gunners would splash quite so much money in January – especially when the main target seems to be £88m-valued winger Mykhailo Mudryk.

The good news, however, is that the England international, who was labelled as “incomparable”, is said to be an admirer of the club and he has already expressed his desire to play Champions League football in the near future – which Arsenal should be able to offer him next season.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the West Ham club captain could be a good fit for Mikel Arteta’s outfit. After all, the club have shown a willingness to spend big on English players in the recent past, paying notable fees for the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White in the past.

Perhaps Rice will be the latest England international to end up playing his club football in north London. It sounds as though we’ll have to wait until the summer to find out.

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Arsenal are top at Christmas but when was the last time they won the league title from this position?