Arsenal are confident of securing the signing of Declan Rice this summer after climbing into a very strong position to complete a deal, sources have told Football Insider.
Rice is expected to leave West Ham in the upcoming window for fee of around £100 million amid widespread interest from top-tier clubs.
Man City and Chelsea are also keen on the England international but are behind Mikel Arteta’s side in the race to sign him up.
It is understood that the midfielder would prefer to stay in his home city of London.
Chelsea have been chasing Rice for some time but are increasing their interest in Southampton star Romeo Lavia, who has emerged as a top target for the mega spenders this summer.
It is Arsenal who are in pole position for the West Ham star on the back of excellent progress under Arteta this season and they can guarantee Champions League football.
Rice grew up a Chelsea fan and is best friends with Mason Mount, which has given hope to the Stamford Bridge faithful that he will be wearing blue next season.
Although a move to work with soo-to-be-appointing Mauricio Pochettino is not off the cards, it is understood Todd Boehey and co are well behind at this stage.
Rice has made 33 Premier League starts among 43 appearances in all competitions this season, and has added a growing goal threat to his game with four goals and four assists.
Since breaking into the West Ham side as an 18-year-old, he has accumulated 238 appearances in total and has barely missed a match in that period.
In other news, West Ham turn to sealing new signing as they prepare for life after Declan Rice