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Arsenal to spend £92m on Rice

Declan Rice (file photo)

. Granit Xhaka set for Bayer Leverkusen move

 ‘At the moment there’s a lot of speculation going on about my future. Obviously there is interest from other clubs but ultimately I still have two years left at West Ham’

By Valentine Amanze

Arsenal are set to break the banks to woo West Ham captain and midfielder, Declan Rice, in a deal worth £92 million, to succeed their former captain, Granit Xhaka, who is leaving the club for Bayer Leverkusen of Germany in the coming weeks.

If the deal sails through this week, Rice would be the highest earner in the London club’s history –

ahead of £72 million winger Nicolas Pepe, who failed to justify his fee at the Emirates Stadium after joining in the summer of 2019.

The Telegraph had reported that there was an acceptance at West Ham that Rice would be leaving the club this summer but they would still demand an enormous fee for a player who has been so fundamental to their success under David Moyes in recent years.

On the other side, Arsenal are desperate to acquire Rice

after the West Ham United midfielder’s marathon season ended with a dramatic victory in the Europa Conference League final and also to blend with other players before the start of pre-season.

Besides, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are said to be interested in the 24-year-old Rice, who led West Ham to a thrilling 2-1 victory over Fiorentina on Wednesday night.

Telegraph Sport revealed last month that Arsenal had been working on structuring a deal worth £92 million for Rice, who has been identified as the club’s top target by manager Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu.

Also read: Manchester United play ‘best football’ with Martial in starting XI – Erik ten Hag

On the interests he is getting from clubs, Rice who spoke to The Telegraph immediately after West Ham’s Europa Conference League victory, said that it was speculation.

 His words: “At the moment there’s a lot of speculation going on about my future. Obviously there is interest from other clubs but ultimately I still have two years left at West Ham.

“I love this club and I love playing for this club. There hasn’t been anything yet. My focus is playing for West Ham at the moment. I am captain of this club and I can’t speak highly enough of this place. Let’s just see what happens. Let’s wait and see. Who knows?”

Arsenal are also working on other targets for this summer and are hoping to strengthen their defence before the return of Premier League action.

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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