Arsenal transfers: Stan Kroenke signs off club-record swoop as double exit puts Arteta ‘on brink’ of major agreement

Arsenal and Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke before the NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles

Arsenal are reportedly on the cusp of sealing an agreement to sign Declan Rice after piecing together a lucrative £92m package they believe West Ham will accept.

The Gunners are looking to further strengthen their ranks this summer after pushing Manchester City all the way in the title race. And while their quest for a first domestic crown in 19 years looks set to fall short, plans are afoot to make them even better next time around.

As a result, their interest in signing Rice has been well documented for some time. The midfielder has made clear his wish to take his game to the next level and play Champions League football.

Competition for the 24-year-old, though, is tough, with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea among his admirers. Indeed, reports now suggest Bayern Munich are also ready to also enter to sign him with Thomas Tuchel keen.

However, the Gunners appear very much in the driving seat to secure his signing with Mikel Arteta personally overseeing that push.

Persuading West Ham to sell, however, is a totally different matter. While they accept that the time to part ways with their skipper will come this summer, they aren’t about to let him leave on the cheap.

As a result, David Moyes has persistently pointed to the £105.7m fee Chelsea paid for Enzo Fernandez as a yardstick.

However, according to the Daily Telegraph, the Gunners are on the brink of reaching an agreement over the fee.

And with owner Stan Kroenke giving the green light for the move, Arsenal are ready to submit a huge £92m package for Rice.

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Arsenal deal for Rice getting closer to completion

Per the report, Kroenke has given the go-ahead for a large bulk of the £92m fee to be paid to West Ham up front. And by offering a big wedge of that fee up front, there appears a confidence at Arsenal that the Hammers will accept the slightly lesser fee.

Arsenal also believe they will have little trouble persuading Rice to make the move across London. They are reportedly willing to pay him £300,000 a week over five seasons, tying him to the club until 2028.

That will see him earn parity with the Gunners’ top earner in Bukayo Saka, with the youngster also reportedly agreeing a lengthy extension.

And with Rice looking more and more likely to become a Gunner this summer, Arsenal are ready to clear the decks by allowing two midfielders to depart.

First up, the club are sanctioning the somewhat surprising sale of Granit Xhaka after seven seasons at the club. At times a divisive player, Xhaka has knuckled down this season and enjoyed easily the best form of his career.

However, after coming close to leaving for Roma last year, a move away – this time to Bayer Leverkusen – is gathering pace.

The Bundesliga side will pay Arsenal a fee of around €15m for the 30-year-old, who is pushing to make the move.

They state Xhaka will sign a four-year deal with Xabi Alonso’s side, though will be accepting a pay decrease in making the move.

Lokonga to join Xhaka in leaving Arsenal this summer

He will be joined out the Emirates exit door by Albert Sambi Lokonga. Loaned to Crystal Palace over the second half of this season, Thursday’s Transfer Gossip claims a move to a surprise Premier League side now beckons.

The Belgian moved to the Gunners in summer 2020 and featured heavily in his first season.

However, he faded out the picture under Arteta and it will come as no surprise were he to leave. The former Anderlecht man will leave having made 39 appearances for the Gunners and carries a £15m valuation.

The midfield pair are likely to be the first of several departures at Emirates this summer, with up to 11 players reportedly leaving.

READ MORETwo Arsenal exits confirmed, with 12 more on Arteta hitlist in ruthless cull