Record Declan Rice bid, Jurrien Timber and Granit Xhaka latest

Arsenal are looking to sign West Ham captain Declan Rice (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Arsenal are wasting no time in capitalising on their progression from the last Premier League campaign, where they tied the club record for most wins in a single season at 26. The team secured an impressive second-place finish in the top flight, just behind Manchester City, with a remarkable 85 points – marking their highest point total since the historic invincible season in the 03/04 campaign.

The Gunners have also recently finalised the £65 million signing of German national Kai Havertz from Chelsea and show no signs of slowing down in the transfer market.

Arsenal are currently linked with several players, including Declan Rice, who could be a new British transfer record if he signs. Here’s all the latest on the potential comings and goings at the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Declan Rice

With Manchester City making a late push in the race for Rice, Arsenal fans had grown increasingly nervous after months of speculation had strongly linked the West Ham player to the Gunners. However, Manchester City have now ended their pursuit of the talented defensive midfielder, reopening a clear but costly path for Arsenal to secure West Ham’s signature. The Gunners’ bid for Rice is rumored to have reached a staggering £105 million, potentially making him the most expensive British transfer of all time. The North London club appear determined to sign the West Ham defensive midfielder at any cost, aiming to solidify their midfield for years to come.

Jurrien Timber

Beyond Declan Rice, the 22-year-old Jurrien Timber seems to be the top target on Arsenal’s wishlist. The Dutch national, who featured in all 34 matches of the Eredivisie for Ajax in the past season, would bring immense versatility and much-needed depth to Arsenal’s back line. During the previous season, Arsenal’s form suffered greatly following the injury of their star French centre-back, William Saliba. Signing a player like Timber who can also play right-back would hopefully prevent a similar crisis from occurring. Negotiations between Ajax and Arsenal are progressing, with the transfer fee being the primary point of discussion. While the exact fee hasn’t been specified, BBC Sport reports that it is believed that Ajax are seeking slightly more than the £30 million Arsenal have put on offer Personal terms do not appear to be an issue, as the young Dutchman is eager to make the move to North London.

Thomas Partey

While there has been much discussion about potential new arrivals at Arsenal, the club will also witness the departure of a few key players from the Emirates. Thomas Partey, the 30-year-old Ghanaian captain, could be leaving Arsenal to join Serie A side Juventus. Initially, there was speculation of Partey moving to Saudi Arabia, but the defensive midfielder reportedly turned down the opportunity in order to continue playing European football, albeit outside the Champions League. Juventus, who had shown interest in signing Partey two years ago, believes that a fee in the range of £15-17m would be more than enough to finalise the deal. According to Sky Sports Italia, personal terms are not an obstacle between Partey and the Italian club, with only the transfer fee left to be settled. Arsenal are eager to complete the deal to avoid losing Partey on a free transfer next summer, claim the reports.

Granit Xhaka

With the impending arrival of Rice and Havertz already signed from Chelsea, Granit Xhaka is set to join Partey as another Arsenal midfielder leaving. Despite earlier speculation about his departure during the January transfer window, Xhaka was persuaded to stay and complete the season by Arteta. However, the Swiss international man now aims to make a move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, with The Telegraph reporting that the two clubs have agreed on a fee in the region of £13m. The deal appears to be all but finalised, with Arsenal  temporarily putting it on hold to ensure they can secure their midfield with the new signing of Declan Rice.

Romeo Lavia

The prospects of the highly talented 19-year-old midfielder from Southampton joining Arsenal have significantly diminished. Lavia impressed in his 29 appearances for the Saints, attracting attention from several clubs including the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. Despite especially strong links to Lavia as reported by Fabrizio Romano, with Arsenal recently acquiring Havertz for £65m and the potential arrival of Rice for a substantial nine-figure fee, the club’s budget appears to be constrained. Lavia’s reported price tag of £40m or more has allowed other clubs, including Liverpool, to pursue the deal instead, leaving Arsenal looking on from the sidelines.

Nicholas Pepe

Arsenal’s record signing of £72m in 2019, Nicolas Pepe, is likely to leave the Emirates this summer, one way or another. Since his arrival from Ligue 1 side Lille, Pepe has failed to meet high expectations and saw himself loaned out to OGC Nice in the past year. As one of the highest earners at Arsenal, the club is actively seeking to move on from Pepe in any capacity. If a transfer, no matter how small, cannot be agreed upon, the club may opt to terminate the player’s contract to remove his salary from their books for the upcoming season as reported by The Telegraph. The primary goal for the club is to secure a transfer, but Arsenal acknowledge that it may not be feasible at this time.


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