Roy Keane orders Arsenal look elsewhere after savaging £100m midfield target who has gone backwards and doesn’t merit transfer
Roy Keane has advised Arsenal they should look elsewhere after telling a big-money midfield target of Mikel Arteta that he needs to do a lot more if he is to earn a big-money move this summer.
The Gunners are top of the Premier League after extending their lead to five points on Wednesday night. Their 4-0 triumph over Everton was a very business-like display from Arsenal, who comfortably cut through the relegation-haunted Toffees.
And Arteta’s side used their game in hand over Manchester City to ensure they enter the final 13 games with a sizeable buffer over the reigning champions.
Arsenal, though, know they can ill afford any slip-ups if they are to end their 19-year title wait.
Whatever the outcome, Arsenal are already planning for life back in the Champions League. As a result, Arteta, alongside sporting director Edu, want to make their squad bigger and better. To that end, Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk outlined two top-quality attackers they want to sign to catapult themselves into UCL contention.
However, Arteta also wants to further strengthen his midfield. They pushed to sign Moises Caicedo in January, before ultimately settling for Jorginho. But that will not spell the end of Arteta’s desire to add another body in there.
As a result, West Ham star Declan Rice is very much a top target for Arteta.
The Hammers skipper has made clear his ambitions to leave this summer. His deal at the London Stadium is due to expire in summer 2024 and he’s rejected all advances to extend his stay.
Now West Ham are seemingly preparing for his exit – though will likely demand a huge fee for his services.
READ MORE: £150m pair to headline huge four-signing Arsenal spree, but overhaul could eject trio including £30m star to Newcastle
Roy Keane insists Declan Rice is not worth the money
Any deal for Rice will likely cost a minimum £80m. And with David Moyes now using Chelsea’s signing of Enzo Fernandez as a guide, the Gunners could even have to pay upwards of £100m,.
However, after witnessing Rice’s display for West Ham against Manchester United in the FA Cup, Keane feels the player has not progressed at all this season.
And he reckons he needs major improvements if he is to seal a blockbuster move to Arsenal, or elsewhere, this summer.
“Obviously he’s got to focus on doing well for West Ham between now and the rest of the season,” Keane told ITV Sport.
“I don’t think he’s been great this season, I really don’t. I think he’s not really kicked on.
“For all the talk about him, a lot of good PR coming out of West Ham about how much he’s worth, I think he needs to do a lot more.
“Doesn’t score enough goals, doesn’t get enough assists.”
West Ham star told by Keane he needs to do more
Keane’s comments prompted a “wow” response from Ian Wright, working alongside Keane.
That prompted the Irishman to question Wright, by adding: “Do you disagree? That’s good.
“I hope you disagree with me because I think I know what I’m talking about, I played in midfield. He needs to do a lot more. See what he’s like tonight.
‘I’ve been a fan of him, he turns up every week, he’s always fit, but I just want a bit more from him.
“If there’s talk of him leaving for big money and going to one of the bigger clubs who will be competing for trophies, playing in the Champions League, he needs to do a lot more, it’s as simple as that.
“I’ll look at him closely tonight and say, ‘listen, you’ve got to turn up’. Sometimes I see him in games for West Ham, I’m not saying he’s playing badly, but sometimes you just go through the motions, [passing] sideways, backwards, taking the easy option.
“I think he needs to do a lot more, I think, to match some of the other top midfielders in the country.”
Arsenal are not alone in pursuit of Rice with Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool also among his admirers.
However, Graeme Bailey has told TEAMtalk that the four clubs must be wary of Manchester City in pursuit for the England star.
READ MORE ~ Exclusive: Man City ready to beat Arsenal, Liverpool to Declan Rice, but monster transfer will force trio including £42m signing out