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Declan Rice favours Arsenal move over Chelsea transfer this summer with Arteta factor key

4:20 PM SGT 22/1/23
Declan Rice West Ham 2022-23
West Ham's Declan Rice would prefer a move to Mikel Arteta's Arsenal over Chelsea when he inevitably leaves the Hammers in the summer.

WHAT HAPPENED? After eight years in east London, the 24-year-old's exit from West Ham seems nothing more than a formality, with the player keen to play Champions League football and challenge for trophies. Despite constant links with boyhood club Chelsea, new information from The Guardian suggests that the most alluring destination for Rice is Arsenal. Arteta's coaching methods are seen as superior by the player, and the Spaniard is thought to have already drawn up plans for the England international.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 'Arteta factor' seems key, then, as the Gunners boss is one of Rice's biggest admirers - and there are many. The 24-year-old has grown into one of the most sought after midfielders in Europe, and a return to Chelsea where he came through the academy seemed the most likely destination until recently. However, Rice has seen Arteta turn Arsenal into title contenders, and the prospect of moving to the Emirates Stadium now appeals to the player.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Any potential transfer would see the reverse scenario of Chelsea's hijacking of long-term Arsenal target Mykhailo Mudryk, who impressed on his Blues debut on Saturday. The money saved on Mudryk's exorbitant £89m ($102m) fee will therefore not deter the Gunners from West Ham's reported £100m ($123.9m) asking price, although this could drop to as low as £80m ($99m) with Rice's Hammers contract expiring in the summer of 2024.

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WHAT NEXT FOR RICE? While talk of a summer move rages on, the 24-year-old will be focused on getting West Ham out of an unwanted relegation battle this campaign, which got handed a major boost with a crucial 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday.