Arsenal face missing out on Declan Rice as rival 'prioritising' star over Dusan Vlahovic

The race for West Ham captain Declan Rice is heating up before the summer transfer window has even opened.


Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2023 by Express.co.uk

Arsenal could see their chances of signing Declan Rice slip away over the coming weeks as links between the West Ham captain and Bayern Munich gather pace. Despite spending his whole career in the Premier League so far, the midfielder is reportedly willing to broaden his horizons.

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel reportedly holds Rice to be his 'absolute dream signing', and despite initial concern over whether the Bundesliga club could meet his £100million price tag, they are now thought to be in a position to cough up.

According to Sport1, pursuing Rice now has complete priority at the Allianz Arena. Bayern's search for a new striker has taken a back-seat as a result, with Juventus marksman Dusan Vlahovic emerging as one of their prime candidates.

Even more concerning for Arsenal is the claim that Rice 'can imagine' playing in Bavaria as he looks to test himself at the top level, and most importantly in the Champions League.

Arsenal face missing out on Declan Rice as rival 'prioritising' star over Dusan Vlahovic
Declan Rice is reportedly warming to the idea of joining Bayern Munich

Although the Gunners will return to Europe's top-tier club competition next campaign, Bayern are regular fixtures in the latter stages of the tournament, and they were knocked out by Manchester City in this year's quarter-finals.

Reports from Germany indicate that there has been 'movement' between Rice and Bayern over the past few days. The German heavyweights are touted to have a 'better chance' of pulling off the deal than they did a few days ago.

Like Tuchel, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is believed to be a massive fan of Rice, and he has even put together a plan outlining how he would fit him into his team. The 24-year-old would reportedly prefer to join the Gunners than Manchester United, who are also in the running for his signature.

Rice spent time developing in Chelsea's academy until he was 15 years old, but went on to make his senior breakthrough with West Ham. The England regular is expected to leave the London Stadium this summer after amassing almost 250 appearances for the club.

There is unlikely to be any concrete developments around Rice's club future until after the Hammers' Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina next week.

"My main focus this season, from the World Cup onwards, has been getting us out of a relegation battle and, of course, having one eye on winning this trophy," explained Rice. "Everything else is just noise and speculation. Obviously, I can't help that, it comes with playing. But my main focus is playing for West Ham and winning this final."



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