Alan Hutton has tipped Arsenal to splash the cash for one of England’s most wanted players, Declan Rice, in the summer.
THE LOWDOWN: PRIORITY SUMMER TARGET
Declan Rice has been on the verge of exiting West Ham United for almost three seasons now but the Hammers have been steadfast in holding onto him. Genuine interest and bids from the Premier League’s top sides have not moved the West London club despite Rice’s comments in the past showing his readiness to move on from the club which he joined in 2014 after being released from the Chelsea academy.
West Ham have also warned all interested parties that the 24-year-old former Republic of Ireland youth international will not come cheap. He has been valued at £100 million and £150 million in the past and the club intends to demand a transfer fee in that range when the time comes for him to leave.
This puts him in pole position to be the most expensive British footballer in history, a sentiment which West Ham manager David Moyes has echoed in recent times.
THE LATEST: ARSENAL BACKED TO GO ALL OUT IN PURSUIT
Arsenal, however, have set their sights on the player and are laser-focused on getting a deal done, implying that the exorbitant valuation of the midfielder by his current club is not going to stop them.
This sentiment was echoed by Alan Hutton, who implied that Arsenal could break their mould and cross the £100 million mark for a single transfer for the first time in their history.
Hutton made these opinions known to Football Insider: “I think there is always a premium with English young talent and that is never really going to change.
“Do I think he is a £100m player? That is a lot of money. From what we have seen in recent windows that is about right.
“He has done as much as he can for West Ham now and he is probably wanting a fresh challenge and Champions League football.
“Arsenal, in the situation they are in at the moment in time, they are going for the league and pushing for trophies. That means they are going to have to strengthen every single window if they want to stay where they are.”
THE VERDICT: BRILLIANT IF IT CAN HAPPEN
Mikel Arteta is looking to build a foolproof midfield in the summer and having a talent such as Rice can be considered a step in the right direction for any manager.
If the summer transfer window goes Arsenal’s way, the club’s fans could see their 2023/24 squad stacked with midfield options like Youri Tielemans, and Declan Rice in addition to Thomas Partey, Jorginho, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and the uncut gem Albert Sambi Lokonga who they already have.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal will be willing to go above and beyond for Rice however, seeing as they chose not to budge with Mykhaylo Mudryk, now of Chelsea.