Arsenal set timeline for bid for top target as Tuchel inspires Bayern Munich to join race

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Declan Rice and Mason Mount Credit: Alamy
Declan Rice and Mason Mount Credit: Alamy

Arsenal are preparing a bid for West Ham captain Declan Rice this summer, according to a report that has revealed Bayern Munich are also in contention to sign him.

Rice has become Arsenal’s top target as they aim to upgrade their midfield for next season. After just falling short in the Premier League title race, they will now be hoping to make use of the upcoming transfer window.

Arsenal are ready to say goodbye to Granit Xhaka, who has been a regular starter this season but is now on the verge of a Bundesliga return with Bayer Leverkusen.

The Switzerland international has confirmed he will communicate what his future holds before Arsenal’s final match of the season against Wolves on Sunday.

Despite dividing opinion at times during his spell with Arsenal, Xhaka will leave a void to fill in their midfield. Mikel Arteta’s side will need to reinvest appropriately for the long term.

To that end, they have been pursuing a deal for Rice, who wants to step up to Champions League level after captaining West Ham to the Europa Conference League final this season.

According to Sky Sports News, Arsenal will make a bid for Rice when the season ends. How much they will offer West Ham is not yet clear, though it is known that David Moyes’ side want to receive a package in the region of £120m.

Arsenal are not the only contenders to sign Rice this summer. The report has revealed that Bayern Munich have also started speaking to Rice’s relatives, who act as his agents.

Bayern are preparing for their first transfer window with ex-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel at the helm. The new manager knows all about Rice from his time in the Premier League. Consequently, he wants the Bundesliga giants to make a move for him.

That said, they might struggle to satisfy West Ham’s demands for the 24-year-old. Hence, Arsenal might be in a better position to sign him as things stand.

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Per the report, the Gunners are also considering a new attempt to sign Brighton’s Moises Caicedo. They could aim to sign him and Rice if they can raise funds by selling players; if not, it will likely be a choice between the two.

Interest in Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan and Chelsea’s Mason Mount has also been reflected in Sky‘s report.

Bayern worth considering for Declan Rice – but Arsenal appeal clear

Bayern and Arsenal are two exciting suitors for Rice, who is under contract with West Ham for just one more season unless the club activate an option to extend his stay into 2025.

Joining the Bundesliga side would be an unexpected move for the England international. However, a club of their calibre would always be worth listening to.

Closer to home, Arsenal have an enticing project, even if they suffered a dramatic collapse in the title race this season. Whether they will be in such a position to sustain a challenge again will only become clearer in time.

Bayern’s presence in the battle for German honours is more of a certainty. But staying in the Premier League will probably be on Rice’s mind.

By joining Arsenal, he wouldn’t have to uproot from London. What’s more, a regular starting role should be awaiting him at the Emirates Stadium.

Only time will tell if Arsenal can make a big enough bid to prise him away from West Ham. They will likely have to break their transfer record in order to secure his services.

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