Speaking to CBS Sports this week, Fabrizio Romano confirmed that Arsenal are feeling good about their pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, and they’ll submit their opening bid for the player in June.
“For Declan Rice, Arsenal are very confident,” Romano said. “Arsenal feel that they are the frontrunners to sign Declan Rice, they want Declan Rice.
“They already discussed that internally in January, but of course it was impossible to negotiate with West Ham in January for their best player.
“But now, Arsenal will return, with an important proposal. They’re already discussing internally about terms of this opening bid to be made in June. They want to attack this Declan Rice situation as soon as possible.”
Reports this week suggest Arsenal are preparing a £92m bid for the West Ham man, and they’re currently working on the structure of what would be a club-record transfer fee.
The Daily Mail reported that Arsenal are set to open talks with West Ham, and confirmed that the Gunners are willing to break their transfer record and wage structure to secure the signing.
But those talks will be delayed until after West Ham’s season ends, and with the Hammers making the Europa Conference League final, that means waiting until June 7th.
24-year-old Rice has made 47 appearances for West Ham this season so far, scoring four goals and providing four assists from his defensive midfield role.
Rice is also an England international, making 41 appearances for his country, including playing the vast majority of their winter World Cup campaign – starting every game and only coming off once.
Arsenal are looking to rebuild their midfield this summer, with Granit Xhaka reportedly on the way out to Bayer Leverkusen, and significant investments planned.