Premier League leaders Arsenal are hopeful of beating Chelsea for the signature of West Ham United skipper Declan Rice.

Ben Jacobs has told GiveMeSport that Arsenal are confident about signing Declan Rice ahead of next season. The Gunners are leading the race for the 24-year-old defensive midfielder. And, they are likely to beat Chelsea to his signature in the summer.

Declan Rice has been the talk of the town of late. The West Ham United skipper is amongst the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League. And, a lot of clubs have their eyes set on him. Chelsea are one of the big clubs that will push for his signature, but Jacobs believes Arsenal have the upper hand.

Ben Jacobs said, “The priority for Arsenal does remain midfield, at this point, and they are confident on Declan Rice. They know that they are likely to go head-to-head with Chelsea there and my understanding is that Rice would like to stay in London.”

“Although it won’t be a deal-breaker, that could well be a key consideration in his thinking if he is weighing up offers that he can’t choose between. That will give Arsenal confidence and also Chelsea, but there will be other suitors as well.”

Meanwhile, Rice was a part of the Chelsea youth setup before he switched to West Ham. The 24-year-old has gone up the ranks at the London club and has become one of their best players. The England international has made over 200 appearances for West Ham.

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His current contract with the east London club ends in the summer of 2024, with the club having the option to extend it by 12 months. However, with a lot of interest from elsewhere, he is expected to leave ahead of next season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are having a wonderful season. They are leading the race for the Premier League title. The Gunners are all set to return to the UEFA Champions League after seven long years. And, Mikel Arteta is expected to look for further reinforcement in the summer.

Arteta is keen on adding another midfielder to the mix despite signing Jorginho from Chelsea in the winter transfer window. The Arsenal boss wants to land Rice at the Emirates ahead of next season. Rice’s arrival will add more quality to their ranks. The 24-year-old will sit in front of the defence and allow them to be a bit more attacking.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are also interested in bringing Rice back to the club. The England international, who was a part of their youth setup, has gone on to become a midfield genius. And, the Blues are all set to push for him in the summer. His £80 million price tag will unlikely thwart Chelsea either.

However, Jacobs believes that the Gunners are leading the race for the West Ham midfielder. Rice wants to remain in the capital, and Arsenal seem to be a perfect fit for the player. But, it won’t be an easy task for Arteta’s men to sign the £80 million star given the interest from Chelsea and other top Premier League clubs.

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