Arsenal in front of Chelsea in Declan Rice chase

Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice at the end of the season.

According to Dean Jones from Give Me Sport, Arsenal are ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign 24-year-old England international Declan Rice at the end of the season. West Ham United will demand around £110 million in his exchange.

Declan Rice has been linked with a move away from West Ham United, and he wants to join a club with Champions League football. Dean Jones believes that Arsenal are ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign the highly talented midfielder because of their position in the league table and how advanced their project is.

“Arsenal are still perhaps slightly ahead of Chelsea, simply because of their league position and how advanced their project is comparative to Chelsea. Rice, as I’m told, would quite like to stay in London, so Chelsea and Arsenal may sense an opportunity there compared to say Manchester United or even Newcastle United.”

The Gunners are already in a stage where they can compete for major trophies. On the other hand, Chelsea are going through a rebuilding phase. And it seems that Rice wants to join a club that is capable of performing at a high level already.

Manchester United and Chelsea will need to fork out a king's ransom of £100million for West Ham United star Declan Rice
Arsenal or Chelsea bound? (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsenal are currently on top of the Premier League table, and they will be hoping to win the league title this season. Champions League qualification is looking like a formality for Arsenal right now, whereas Chelsea might not be in the Champions League next season.

Rice wants to join a club in the Champions League. So it could be a decisive factor while choosing his next club. The Blues are currently tenth in the league table, and a top-four finish seems quite unlikely at this stage. It would be a major coup if Arsenal managed to pull off his signing in the coming months.

The 24-year-old is one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. And he would strengthen Arsenal immensely. The Gunners have been overly reliant on Thomas Partey as their defensive midfielder this season. And Mikel Arteta needs to bring in someone who can slot into that role and allow the manager to rotate his squad from time to time.

The 24-year-old is entering his peak years and is likely to improve further with coaching and experience. Rice has all the attributes to develop into a world-class midfielder, and he would be a superb long-term investment from Arsenal.

The player has been linked with clubs like Newcastle United and Manchester United as well. But Dean Jones claims that he would like to stay in London. Chelsea are in desperate need of a player like him as well, and the Blues might need to come forward with a lucrative offer in order to tempt him into returning to Stamford Bridge. Rice was released from the Chelsea and will feel that he has unfinished business with the Blues.

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