Arsenal continue to grow in confidence that they will sign Declan Rice in the summer, according to reports. But the Gunners also want to bring in Moises Caicedo during the current transfer window.
Arsenal know it will be nearly impossible to prise Rice away from West Ham midway through the season. Therefore they are looking at alternative options to boost their Premier League title credentials before attempting to complete a deal for the England star at the end of the campaign.
Rice is out of contract at the London Stadium in 2024. However, the Hammers do have the option to extend his deal by a further year.
West Ham still may be forced to sell this summer in order to get a sizable fee for the 24-year-old. Chelsea are also set to be keen on signing the player they let go at the age of 14.
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But Arsenal are confident they can win the race to Rice’s signature, according to the Telegraph. The report says the Premier League leaders’ pursuit of Brighton star Caicedo will have no impact on whether they go after Rice or not in the summer.
Arsenal want to sign two players in what would be the start of a major overhaul of their midfield. Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka have been two of the Gunners’ star players so far this season.
However, Partey turns 30 in June and Xhaka 31 in September. Rice at 24 and Caicedo at 21 would be long-term options in the middle of the park.
Arsenal have already seen an offer of £60million turned down for Caicedo, with a deal for Rice set to be in the region of £70m. Chelsea are also interested in Caicedo and had their own offer for the player rejected earlier this window.
A knee injury suffered by Mohamed Elneny has seen Arteta venture into the market. He insists midfield is an area that he wants to strengthen before Tuesday’s deadline.
Arteta said this week: “If anything else is available that can make us better, we’ll look at it. We need some more cover in midfield ideally if we can, but in this market it is pretty complicated to do that.
“As I always say, the most important thing is that we get the performances and the time on the pitch that we need with the players that we have available today that are already really good.”
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