Transfer insider Dean Jones claims Arsenal are keen on signing Chelsea target in the summer

Transfer insider Dean Jones has claimed that Arsenal are keen on signing Chelsea target Declan Rice in the summer transfer window. The Gunners will reportedly prioritize the move for the Englishman ‘above anything else’.

The West Ham United midfielder has struggled to match the highs of last season, only registering four goal contributions in 27 appearances in all competitions this season.

However, this is due to the Hammers struggling for form. David Moyes’ side have vastly underperformed this season, and are currently languishing in 17th place on 19 points, only above the relegation zone on goal difference

As per the Athletic, the English international wants to leave the club, having entered the final 18 months of his contract and rejecting three offers to renew his contract. Both the Gunners and Chelsea are currently interested in acquiring his signature.

Following Arsenal’s impressive start to the campaign, it has been reported that the Gunners could be targeting Rice, who is keen to play Champions League football. The club have already outlined their summer transfer plans and Chelsea target Rice has been marked as the Gunners’ top priority.

Jones said (via GiveMeSport):

“The Declan Rice interest is very serious, I’m told, I was very doubtful about the authenticity of that rumor at first but I’ve checked it out several times with different sources and they are definitely going to have a crack at signing him.”

He added:

“Declan Rice is the one that they would love and the one that they would choose above anybody else.”

Manager Mikel Arteta has wanted to improve his midfield and after missing out on signing Moises Caicedo in January, bringing in Rice would definitely add depth and stability to Arsenal’s squad.

Arsenal and Chelsea warned that Declan Rice’s position could change

Former Liverpool player Graeme Souness has warned Arsenal and Chelsea that Rice’s natural position may change after the West Ham midfielder has been linked to both clubs, as well as the likes of Manchester United.

The Gunners are confident about signing the England international over their competition, but will probably have to pay around £100 million to secure his services.

According to Souness, Rice may change his position from a midfielder to a defender. He spoke to the Daily Mail:

“Judge him on the defensive aspect alone and you would have to say he’s the best in the country in that position. He’s mobile and athletic. He covers the ground very easily and snuffs out a lot of the danger before it becomes a big problem for West Ham.”

He added:

“It’s when you come to the other two important parts of being a central midfield player that I do think Rice is a bit short. Factor those in and I would have to say he’s not the best in that position.”

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