Premier League

Arsenal set to rival Chelsea for England star

Stuart Telford
Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice

Arsenal and Chelsea are already competing for the services of “Ukrainian Neymar” Mykhailo Mudryk, and they are set to butt heads over more than one player during the current winter transfer window.

Arsenal saw a €62 million bid for Mudryk rejected by Shakhtar Donetsk recently, while the Ukrainian club’s sporting director Dario Srna was spotted sharing Todd Boehly’s personal box at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Thursday.

While Mudryk remains the Gunners’ top transfer target, they are also in the market for a central midfielder with Granit Xhaka’s form prone to fluctuation, Thomas Partey’s injury record a cause for concern, and very little behind them in the squad.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal aren’t worried about Chelsea’s Mudryk interest, writes Ben Jacobs

Chelsea have long been linked with Declan Rice, meanwhile, their former academy player who has since blossomed into one of the Premier League’s finest in his position thanks to his performances for West Ham.

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Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, meanwhile, and Spanish outlet Fichajes report that the manager is pushing his club to do all they can to acquire the England midfielder ahead of the competition.

Rice ambition

Rice rejected a new contract at West Ham recently and his since gone public with his desire to play or a club competing in the Champions League.

READ: Five Enzo Fernandez alternatives for Chelsea

“I’ve been consistently playing well for my club,” he said in December. “I want to win trophies for my club. [But] you only get one career, and you want to look back at what you’ve won and play in the biggest games. I’m really ambitious and I want that.”

Arsenal may have missed out on the Champions League for this season, but they are odds on to make it next, whether or not they win a first league title since 2004.

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Whether they are willing and able part ways with the reported €100m it would take for West Ham to part ways with Rice remains to be seen, however.

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