Report reveals brilliant Arteta plan to sign Declan Rice for Arsenal ahead of Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City

Declan Rice of West Ham

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has a trick up his sleeve as he looks to sign West Ham star Declan Rice before Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, according to a report.

Rice is likely to leave West Ham at the end of the season. His contract expires in June 2024 and he is unwilling to pen an extension, which means this summer will be West Ham’s best opportunity to get big money for him.

Chelsea have widely been viewed as Rice’s main suitors in the past. However, in recent months Arsenal have been named as the frontrunners to complete a monumental deal.

City are doing all they can do take the England ace to the Etihad, though, while Man Utd are currently lurking in the background for him.

With so many offers on the table, it will be hard for Rice to decide where to go. But Arteta has a plan to ensure it is Arsenal he chooses.

According to the Daily Mail, Jack Wilshere could hold the key to the Gunners landing their top midfield target. Wilshere, who made 197 appearances for Arsenal between 2008 and 2018, formed a good relationship with Rice during his spell at West Ham.

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The pair remain close and Wilshere, who now works as Arsenal’s U18s coach, will do all he can to get his fellow Englishman to move to north London.

Given how highly Rice thinks of Wilshere, this ploy could just work for Arteta.

Rice could elevate Arsenal, despite Keane criticism

The 24-year-old would be a fantastic capture for Arsenal. He has proven himself to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League in recent seasons.

He could form a dominant midfield partnership with either Granit Xhaka or Thomas Partey from next season onwards.

Admittedly, Rice’s standards have dropped this term, which has coincided with West Ham performing below par as a team.

And after West Ham’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Man Utd, Roy Keane has suggested the Red Devils should look elsewhere when aiming to improve their midfield.

“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.”

Rice has been accused of not having his full attention on West Ham with a big transfer looming. As Keane states, he must get back to basics and then start to shine for West Ham again before securing that dream transfer he is after.

Meanwhile, Sean Dyche has predicted which club will win the Prem title race between Arsenal and City.