Arteta risks losing Arsenal title momentum because of Pochettino request
Arsenal boss Arteta discusses pressures of title race
Arsenal may struggle to turn their momentum into another Premier League title push next season with Mauricio Pochettino reportedly keen to challenge the club for the signature of Declan Rice. The West Ham captain is widely believed to be one of Mikel Arteta’s top transfer targets but Chelsea may try to tempt him to Stamford Bridge instead once Pochettino takes charge.
Rice has become one of the most sought-after players in the Premier League after being a standout for West Ham over the last few years. The England international is already an excellent holding midfielder and at 24 years old is still a long way from his peak.
It has been widely reported that Rice is one of Arsenal’s top targets in the summer transfer window as Arteta looks to add to his midfield options. However, the Gunners could now be set for some serious competition from Chelsea with the Daily Mail reporting that Pochettino would like to make him one of his first additions when he takes the reins at Stamford Bridge.
A move to West London may appeal to Rice too. The Englishman spent eight years with Chelsea during his youth career while he is still close friends with Mason Mount, who Pochettino is said to be keen to keep despite his contract situation.
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Should Rice decide to join Chelsea it would be a big setback for Arsenal and Arteta. The Gunners have enjoyed a successful Premier League campaign even though they look set to be narrowly beaten to the title by Manchester City.
The north Londoners would have liked to build on their momentum next season to push the Sky Blues even harder but that would be at risk if they are unable to attract their top targets like Rice.
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West Ham manager David Moyes has admitted that Rice is likely to leave the club over the summer with the club already planning how to replace him.
“We honestly hope he stays,” the manager said. “We’d love for him to be a West Ham player but we are aware that might not be the case at the end of the season. So that’s one of the scenarios around planning. There are plans that we have Dec here but we’re also fully aware there is a good chance we won’t have him.”
It remains to be seen what Rice’s future will entail but Arteta and Arsenal will be desperate to see him make the move to the Emirates.
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