The Gunners are preparing a club record £92 million offer for the England international, who is their priority target for the summer transfer window.
Bayern Munich and Manchester United are also in the race for Rice’s signature, but Arsenal are understood to be in pole position to snap up the highly sought-after 24-year-old.
Arsenal are keen to finalise the transfer in time for pre-season in a move that could open the door for Granit Xhaka to complete his expected switch to Bayer Leverkusen in a reported £13m deal.
West Ham have resigned to lose Rice this summer, with club chairman David Sullivan confirming that the midfielder has his heart set on leaving this summer.
Negotiations over a move to Arsenal are now at an advanced stage, and West Ham are planning to spend the Rice windfall on three recruits – Harvey Barnes, James Ward-Prowse, and Edson Alvarez.
The Hammers are eager to sign Barnes from Leicester City despite facing competition from Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Aston Villa.
The relegated Foxes will demand around £40 million for the player who finished as their top scorer after netting 13 goals in 34 Premier League games this season.
Ward-Prowse is also expected to leave relegated Southampton this summer, but the Saints will likely demand a massive fee for their captain, with the player’s contract set to run until 2026.
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