Arsenal warned they may miss out on Rice deal due to Newcastle offer

Arsenal sign Jorginho from Chelsea

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Arsenal have been warned that they face competition from Newcastle in their pursuit of West Ham captain Declan Rice in the summer, who can offer the England star a “very tempting proposition” at St James’ Park. The Hammers are resigned to losing their skipper at the end of the season, while Mikel Arteta’s outfit are rumoured to be the frontrunners for his signature.

The Gunners are hoping to add both Rice and Moises Caicedo to Arteta’s squad in the summer, having missed out on a January transfer for the Brighton star while Rice could be available for £70million at the end of the season. Chelsea have had a long-standing interest in the 24-year-old but ex-Tottenham and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes that Newcastle will also be in the running for him.

“I could see Rice at Newcastle,” Robinson told Football Insider. “I think it is an attractive project for any player right now. Rice looks like he is going to leave in the summer. He is not going to sign a new contract so West Ham will have to cash in at some point.

“There is a lot of talk surrounding him and Arsenal but Arsenal have just signed Jorginho. If Newcastle get European football, I think that would be enough of a pull. Everyone can see the way the club is going. The wages will not be a problem. They can offer Rice everything that he wants. I think Newcastle would be a very tempting proposition for Declan Rice come the summer.”

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Arsenal paid an initial £10m to sign Jorginho from Chelsea on transfer deadline day to provide midfield cover for Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard and handed him an 18-month contract, though the club do have the option to extend his deal by a further year.

Arteta explained why Arsenal needed to sign Jorginho on deadline day. “We knew that in this market you have to adapt and be flexible and ready for inconvenience,” Arteta said on Friday. “We had a big one with Mo [Mohamed Elneny’s injury] and we needed a player in that position. He’s a great character who’ll bring leadership and quality in that position.”

The Athletic have claimed that the short-term nature of Jorginho’s deal ensures that a top-level midfielder such as Rice will be high on Arsenal’s agenda in the summer.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe did insist that he was not completely satisfied with his side’s January transfer window that saw Anthony Gordon, Harrison Ashby and Garang Kuol join the club.

Rice’s interest in a move to Newcastle would likely depend on the Magpies qualifying for the Champions League this season, however, as he has openly stated his desire to compete in Europe’s premier club competition previously.

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