Premier League • England

Declan Rice latest: Mikel Arteta urged to move fast as rival suitors refuse to drop interest in Arsenal target

Declan Rice of West Ham United celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Conference League Final match between Fiorentina and West Ham United at Fortuna Arena on June 7th 2023 in Prague, Czechia

Manchester City are still interested in signing West Ham ace Declan Rice and have continued to make enquiries, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Arsenal have made no secret of their desire to take the England midfielder to the Emirates Stadium. He is certain to leave the Hammers this summer after six seasons at the London Stadium. And, lifting the Europa Conference League trophy earlier this month was the perfect way to end his spell in the East End.

Talk has now turned to Rice’s next destination, with the Gunners thought to be leading the chase.

The north Londoners reportedly tabled an £80m bid earlier this week. That was, as expected, rejected by West Ham, who have continually stressed they will not accept anything less than £100m.

Arsenal have been tipped to return with an improved bid next week as they look to seal the deal early in the transfer window.

City have also been linked, while Manchester United and Chelsea have also been mentioned in connection with the superstar.

Arteta is desperate to get his man as he seeks players who can take the club to the next level.

READ MORE: Arsenal transfers: Talks confirmed as Mikel Arteta told why timing ‘crucial’ over £40m summer target

But it appears as though the capital outfit should not dither, as City are still sniffing around the possible transfer.

“As for Declan Rice, with Rice Manchester City once again asked for information on Friday for the situation,” Romano said on his YouTube channel. “So, the same with Kai Havertz, Arsenal have to be fast.”

Rice prefers Arsenal but money talks

It has been widely reported that Rice would love to wear the red of Arsenal in 2023-2024.

The Gunners would be able to provide Champions League football, something that has been missing from his CV to date.

They will also hope to close the gap to City after finishing five points behind Pep Guardiola’s men last season.

But it is the Citizens who might be undermining Arsenal’s chances of landing the Kingston upon Thames-born star.

It remains to be seen if the Etihad outfit do look to trump Arsenal’s bid and lure Rice to the north west.

They already have his England colleague Kalvin Phillips on their books.

The ex-Leeds man has hardly featured for the champions but may well get his chance next season if he remains at the club.

It is unlikely that the pair would operate together in midfield under Guardiola.

Romano is usually accurate in his transfer speculation, however, and it appears as though Rice is on their radar.

Arteta does hold an advantage over City with Rice seemingly keen to stay in the capital.

But with rumours that West Ham might hold out for close to £120m, it could be a fraught few weeks.

Arsenal are unlikely to go that high while City would need to break their own transfer record.

READ MORE: Arsenal ‘may be willing’ to greenlight midfielder’s move across Premier League as Arteta doubles down on decision