Table-toppers Arsenal, are now leading the race to sign West Ham captain and long-standing Manchester United target Declan Rice.
Rice has been mooted as a possible Old Trafford arrival for a number of years since he broke into the spotlight at the London Stadium.
The Hammers have so far succeeded in warding off interest for Rice, with their high valuation for the England midfielder putting clubs off.
The Peoples Person covered a report in January which stated that Rice is still on United’s radar, with a midfield recruit a priority for Erik ten Hag this summer.
For a long time, Chelsea was said to be leading the race to sign Rice with Stamford Bridge the player’s preferred destination. However, according to Football Insider, things have changed and the Gunners are now firm favourites to land the 24-year-old.
“Arsenal are now in pole position to sign Declan Rice amid Chelsea’s financial struggles, sources have told Football Insider. The Gunners are growing increasingly confident in their chances of signing the 24-year-old midfielder this summer.
“Chelsea had been considered long-term favourites to sign Rice, but the Blues are tied down by financial limitations after spending big under new owner Todd Boehly.
“Newcastle were Arsenal’s other competitor to sign Rice this summer, but the Tyneside club have also halted their pursuit.”
Football Insider notes that Newcastle pulled out of a possible deal due to West Ham putting an £80-100m price tag on their skipper.
“With Chelsea and Newcastle both not willing to meet West Ham’s valuation, Arsenal have leapfrogged their rivals to become strong favourites to sign the England international.”
Rice is understood to be keen on staying in London and Arsenal are the only team pushing hard for his services as it stands.
Rice has declined numerous contract offers at West Ham and a sale for the player now seems like the most likely outcome.