Declan Rice at Arsenal shirt number, salary and Mikel Arteta role
Declan Rice is a top transfer target for Arsenal this summer. The midfielder could finally leave West Ham after years of being linked with an exit.
Rice has long been linked with a move back to Chelsea. The England star was released by the Blues at the age of 14.
Manchester United and Manchester City have also held an interest in Rice. But Arsenal are now deemed to be favourites to land his signature in the summer and view the 24-year-old as their top target.
Rice is out of contract at the end of next season and the Hammers may soon have to cash in. Express Sport looks at how Rice’s move to Arsenal could pan out if the Gunners match West Ham’s asking price.
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Rice has only worn the No 41 shirt throughout his senior club career. It is not a number full of history at Arsenal and is mostly reserved for youngsters.
He previously said superstition could prevent him from changing to a different number. He said: “To be honest with you – I have been having these conversations with my dad – regardless of what happens in my career I may stay with 41.
“I just think Rice 41 has a nice ring to it and obviously I have grown up playing in it and I am a bit superstitious with things like that. I don’t know if I change to a new number if it will hamper my performances, I don’t know! Sometimes I think about things like that.”
Rice has worn the No 4 more often than not of late for England. Ben White occupies that at Arsenal so Rice may have to settle for his trusty 41.
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Rice currently earns £60,000 a week, according to Sportrac. He signed his most recent contract in December 2018.
He has rejected all offers of renewal so far at the London Stadium as he eyes up a move elsewhere. A longer-term deal would have put West Ham in a better bargaining position to reject offers from elsewhere.
TalkSPORT claims West Ham offered Rice an eight-year deal in May 2022 which would have earned him £200,000 a week. Arsenal would likely offer Rice at least that much.
Sportrac says only Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey earn £200,000 a week or more at the Emirates. That will change when Bukayo Saka signs a new deal and Rice would join him as one of the higher earners.
Rice could have a couple of different roles under Mikel Arteta. He has played the majority of his career as a defensive midfielder.
He could be a like-for-like replacement for Thomas Partey in the middle of the park. But there is the sense there is a lot more to his game waiting to burst out.
Rice could play as a No 8 on the left of Arsenal’s midfield three. He has shown recently he can drive at defences and has an eye for goal.
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