Arsenal will have to break their transfer record by a significant margin to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice this summer, talkSPORT claim.
The England international is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and is expected to leave the Hammers at the end of the season.
Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has already identified him as his ‘top target‘, but the club will have to pay a British-record fee to prise him away this summer.
As per talkSPORT, the Hammers turned down a package of £100 million from Manchester United for Rice last summer. They are now looking for £120m plus add-ons.
The Gunners are set to face competition with United and Chelsea also keen on landing him.
Arsenal should pay record fee for Declan Rice
Arsenal currently have Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka as undisputed starters in midfield, but they will have to look into the future with young midfield additions.
At 24, Rice is just in the prime of his playing career and would be perfect for the Gunners. He could be a leading performer for the next decade at the north London club.
The England international has averaged an impressive 2.3 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per league game this season while completing nearly 90 per cent of his passes.
He could be seen as a successor to Partey, who could be phased out in the coming seasons. The Ghanaian has yet to stay fully fit over an entire campaign for Arsenal.
A precedence has been set after Chelsea’s big-money signing of Enzo Fernandez and the Gunners can’t expect any discount on Rice from the Hammers this summer.
They will have to pay a premium fee and may have to break their transfer record by at least £48m. Nicolas Pepe remains the club’s record signing after his £72m move from Lille in 2019.
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