Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy reckons Arsenal will be the ones to sign West Ham United captain Declan Rice. The English midfielder seems increasingly likely to leave the London Stadium next summer.
The Hammers have started the campaign in woeful form and sit 18th in the league, while the Gunners are flying high at the top of the Premier League. It is unlikely that Rice will want to play for a side not competing for Europe, let alone one staring at a potential relegation.
Reports claim that Arsenal have made Rice their top target for next summer, and they hope to beat his former club Chelsea to his signature. He could cost around £80 million.
Murphy has backed Mikel Arteta’s side to lure the English midfielder to the Emirates Stadium. He thinks the Gunners may need to sign a new midfielder so as to not rely on Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, and Granit Xhaka. He told talkSPORT:
“Arsenal are on the trajectory they’re on, and they have the ambition to move forward and be regular contenders in the Premier League and start playing Champions League football every season, you can’t rely on three midfielders.”
Murphy then suggested he believes Arteta’s side will win the race for Rice:
“My hunch really at the moment is Arsenal. I think deep down when you’re from a certain area, you might want to stay around your family who support you.”
“Maybe that Arsenal thing has become much more attractive, and actually what you said at the beginning, he probably looks at that midfield and thinks, ‘I can get in that team comfortably’.”
Rice has been West Ham’s protagonist for several years and was handed the club captaincy when Mark Noble retired last season. He has featured 25 times across competitions this season, scoring one goal and providing three assists.
The Englishman was instrumental for the Hammers in their journey to the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League last season. He was released by Chelsea at 14 but has grown into one of the league’s top midfield talents.
Bacary Sagna on Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale’s performance in win over Tottenham Hotspur
The Gunners continued their pursuit of winning the Premier League title for the first time since 2004 by beating Tottenham in the derby on Sunday (January 15).
Hugo Lloris’ own goal and Martin Odegaard’s strike secured Arteta’s side a first win away at Spurs since 2015. However, it was Ramsdale who shone for the league leaders. Sagna lauded his performance, claiming that the English shot-stopper made a statement. He told FindMyCasino:
‘Ramsdale had a terrific game – he made some vital saves at key moments. The save against Son just after Arsenal had scored was huge and every time he was called into action and needed to make a presence for himself he did it.”
Ramsdale has made 20 appearances, keeping 10 clean sheets. He has earned plaudits for his consistency and is an important member of the Gunners side.