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West Ham star Declan Rice favours move to Arsenal over Chelsea

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice favours a move to Arsenal over Chelsea during this summer’s transfer window, according to the Guardian.

The England international has spent his entire playing career with the Hammers, but he is likely to consider a bigger challenge elsewhere at the end of the campaign.

Chelsea were previously touted as favourites to sign him as he was in their youth academy, but Rice is now leaning towards joining Mikel Arteta’s side this summer.

It is reported that Arteta has drawn up his plans for the Hammers captain and Rice is also enticed by the prospect of working under the Spanish tactician next season.

The north London giants are now emerging as favourites to sign the 24-year-old, who could be prised away for £80 million with his contract expiring in June 2025.

Rice has developed into one of the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders. He has particularly excelled with his distribution and ability to win regular duels.

As things stand, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are confirmed starters in midfield for Arsenal in the league, but things could change if they can secure Rice’s services.

Arteta may opt for regular rotation in the centre of the park which has barely happened this term.

Meanwhile, there is also the possibility that Rice could take up Xhaka’s advanced central midfield position, having shown a willingness to make forward runs with the Hammers.

Rice has attempted 24 shots and created as many chances in the top-flight this season. With the right guidance, he could be converted into a quality deep playmaker.

Arsenal are on course to qualify for the Champions League next term and this should offer them a big boost in the transfer pursuit of Rice ahead of London rivals Chelsea.

Rice has publicly acknowledged that he would like to play in the competition in future.

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