Former Arsenal player Adrian Clarke has suggested that Declan Rice has been asking around about the north London club amid reports that the Gunners want to sign the West Ham captain.
Speaking on the Handbrake Off Podcast, the pundit and ex-Gooner revealed that Rice has been sounding out those associated with Arsenal about what the club is like, with the England international believed to be a top midfield target for Mikel Arteta’s side in the summer.
🚨 @adrianjclarke: “I can’t reveal my source, but I do know that Declan Rice has been sounding out people connected with Arsenal in regards to, ‘What’s it like there? What’s it really like?’, so that sounds like a positive.”— afcstuff (@afcstuff) February 6, 2023
[@TheAthleticFC Handbrake Off Podcast] #afc pic.twitter.com/9SN3po1E9q
Midfield is an area of the pitch that Arsenal are eager to add too in the summer with Rice and Moises Caicedo two players that appear to be long-term replacements for the likes of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka. And the Gunners could have the money to spend to sign both players.
Arsenal have to go all out to sign Declan Rice in the summer
With Rice a regular for England and a star player for a Premier League side, the 24-year-old ticks a lot of boxes for what Arsenal need in a central midfielder in the summer. And as a result, the West Ham star should be a top priority for the north London side.
Indeed, Rice is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and a versatile option who could thrive under Arteta’s system, as well as alongside top-quality players such as Martin Odegaard and Xhaka. And with the player now sounding out the club, a move could be on the cards in the summer.
Now it is up to Arsenal to lay down the tempo and to get in early with a bid of their own, with Rice likely going to cost the Gunners a club-record fee even with the West Ham star’s contract with the Irons coming to an end in the summer of 2024.