Mikel Arteta has been given permission by Arsenal's hierarchy to invest heavily this summer as they look to return to the Premier League summit. They have identified Declan Rice as their target player and plan on breaking their club transfer fee record in order to sign him.

West Ham’s asking price

The Hammers want an exorbitant fee for Rice as they aim to maximize the value of their prize asset. Arsenal are seen as favourites to sign him this summer due to being one of few London clubs who can guarantee him Champions League football.

Last season, Rice rejected an eight-year contract extension in favour of playing European football - something he would appreciate at Arsenal.

Arsenal are set to make an official bid for England international David Brooks, but are expected to fall short of West Ham's asking price.

Premier League champions Manchester City will look to add more midfield options this summer with N'Golo Kante entering his final year on contract and Declan Rice likely departing for pastures new. Matteo Guendouzi from Marseille has been touted as possible replacement, though former Liverpool midfielder and talkSPORT pundit Danny Murphy suggests doing whatever is necessary in order to bring in their Hammers captain as their preferred target.

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Rice’s desire to join Arsenal

Arteta, who played for Manchester City before moving to Arsenal as manager, has long been an admirer of Rice and believes he could become one of Europe's premier midfielders by joining North London.

England international Aaron Cresswell has recently turned down West Ham United's offer of a new contract, while speaking highly of moving to Arsenal Stadium instead. Cresswell described them as being an outstanding team to play for with excellent coaching staff in place.

West Ham are reluctant to sell Rice this summer, but may accept a bid of around PS100m from Arsenal. The Gunners believe they can beat Chelsea and Manchester United to Rice's signature as they did with Ben White and Mykhaylo Mudryk before. Should an agreement be made, Rice could earn north of PS300,000 per week at Arsenal which would put him ahead of Three Lions teammate Matteo Guendouzi in terms of wages.

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Rice’s contract

Rice has shown no inclination to sign a new contract at West Ham - his current deal expires in 2024 - and could leave this summer if an attractive offer came his way - possibly from Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta has been searching for midfield reinforcements, with Rice considered one of the top players available. Arsenal will face competition for Rice from Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool; however they appear as frontrunners in their pursuit.

Stan Kroenke is understood to be prepared to pay a club record fee for Rice. His opening bid will likely surpass that paid for Ivorian defender Nicolas Pepe and put Rice among current top earners such as Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko if he moves to Arsenal this summer. At 24 years old, Rice would hope to make an immediate impactful statement of intent within Champions League competition if his move takes place.

Rice’s future

West Ham captain Rice is one of Arsenal's main targets this summer as they look to make significant midfield changes under Mikel Arteta. According to reports, they are set to submit their initial bid for England international, who is likely leaving his position with West Ham this summer.

Rice has featured in most Premier League matches this season for Fulham FC and played a significant part in their comeback victory over AZ Alkmaar on Thursday - as well as playing an integral role in their Europa Conference League final victory over Manchester City next week.

Rice, 24, is drawing considerable interest across the Premier League and has been linked with moves to Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool - however Arsenal appear to be leading in attracting him after his performances this season. They want to offer him Champions League-like environment which could potentially match or exceed West Ham's PS100 million valuation for him as a former Bradford player.

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