Premier League • England

Former Arsenal star labels £75m target a ‘perfect fit’ with Gunners to rival Chelsea, Man Utd this summer

England's Jude Bellingham (left) and Declan Rice celebrate after the UEFA Euro 2020 Quarter Final

Jack Wilshere believes that West Ham United captain Declan Rice would be a “perfect fit” at Arsenal and would develop as a player under Mikel Arteta. 

The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from the London Stadium for some time, with the Gunners, Chelsea and Manchester United all in the race.

Arsenal have recently emerged as favourites for Rice’s signature but will have to meet a price tag of around £75m to get a deal done, according to reports.

As noted by Sky Sports NewsRice collected his 41st England cap in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Ukraine, where he was spotted talking to Gunners left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko after the final whistle.

Rice made his debut for West Ham in 2017 and has gradually earned a reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

He was also installed as the club’s captain after Mark Noble’s retirement last summer, showing how important he is to David Moyes’ team. But, with three Premier League giants in pursuit of Rice, the Hammers seem resigned to losing him at the end of the season.

READ MORE: Real Madrid to devastate Arsenal and Liverpool with forward raid stunning Arteta and midfield deal stinging Klopp

Wilshere: ‘I’ve spoken to Dec’

The Englishman also spent time playing with Wilshere during his brief stint with the Hammers, who now manages Arsenal’s under-18s side. In a recent interview, Wilshere declared that Rice would be a great signing for the Premier League leaders.

“He’s a midfielder who can do anything,” Wilshere said.

“Anyone who supports any club would want Dec to join. If I’m talking from a selfish point of view, in north London, I think he would be very good under Mikel’s watch.

“Mikel would develop him, bring him on even more and he would be massive for the team as well. I have had conversations with Dec and told him what he is doing in unbelievable, he is captain of a big Premier League club and is always learning.

“You have to be respectful to West Ham, that is his club, but his future is in his hands and it’s very exciting for him because he’s got everything with him now and he’s picking up more and more, he’s growing into this man who could play anywhere.

“I’m looking forward to wherever he goes. I hope it is Arsenal, it would be a massive signing and a perfect fit.”

However, as mentioned, Chelsea and Manchester United are also firmly in the race for Rice’s signature, so Arsenal will have to put their money where their mouth is to get a deal over the line.

But, with the Gunners currently heading towards lifting their first Premier League title since 2004, it’s fair to say that the Emirates probably represents the most attractive destination for the West Ham star at the moment.

READ MORE: ‘Priority’ Arsenal transfer target named with Arteta ready to go all guns blazing for midfielder after Zubimendi setback