Date: 10th June 2023 at 10:12am
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With just days until the transfer window officially opens in England, speculation surrounding Premier League clubs is rife. 

Several high profile players have been linked with moves in recent weeks, including Harry Kane, Mason Mount and Harry Maguire.

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice looks set to be at the centre of one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer, though, with the Englishman being heavily linked with a move away from east London.

The central midfielder has been linked with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, but it now looks increasingly likely that he will join Arsenal.

As per Football Insider, the player himself has told both West Ham and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta that he intends to join the north London club.

The England international became just the third player to captain the Hammers to a trophy on Wednesday as they defeated Fiorentina 2-1 in the Europa League Conference final, but it looks almost certain that the victory was his final game for the club.

Speaking after the game in Prague, owner David Sullivan said it was 99% likely that Rice would leave West Ham this summer, and the report claims that the player is intent on joining Arsenal.

It is claimed that, during conversations with those in charge of his current club, Rice has voiced his intentions of joining Arsenal – something that he has also made clear to Gunners boss Arteta.

Rice is only the third player to captain West Ham United to a trophy

Rice, 24, has established himself as one of the Premier League’s best central midfielders in recent seasons, and became Hammers captain at the start of the current campaign.

In total, he has made 245 appearances for the London side, including 50 across all competitions this term.

His current contract is set to expire next summer, though, which could prompt West Ham to agree a deal to sell him this summer rather than losing him for free in 12 months.

Arsenal are set to be in the market for a new central midfielder with Granit Xhaka expected to depart the club in the coming weeks.

The Switzerland international is believed to be on the verge of sealing a permanent move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, despite playing a pivotal role as Arteta’s side mounted a title challenge this season.

With that in mind, Arteta is keen to recruit a new midfielder and Rice has been identified as their top target, despite the Gunners making an offer to sign Brighton and Hove Albion star Moises Caicedo back in January.

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