Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta’s, chase of both Chelsea attacker Kai Havertz and West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice have been well known over the last week, but it seems that at the weekend our gaffer has finally opened up and commented on the two talents – although fans would have hoped for slightly more clarity.
As fans will know, 24 year old England midfielder Rice is believed to be Arteta’s absolute top target this summer to improve the centre of the park, but we have already had two bids rejected despite the last offer being apparently worth around the £90 million mark, and we are now seeing speculation linking Pep Guardiola and Manchester City as potentially making a move of their own for him.
The deal for fellow 24 year old, Havertz, is a little bit simpler as it is believed we already have an agreement in principle with Chelsea over a deal worth around £65 million and that it should only be days before it is completed as we are simply at the formality stage.
Given the improvements we have seen since Arteta came through the door, he is clearly being backed again by the board as these two signings alone amount to a significant chunk if they go through.
Asked firstly about Rice, Arteta was coy and professional.
“I can’t talk about players who are not in the club. I prefer not to say anything.”
Many will feel this represents where negotiations are right now, but he was a little bit more forthcoming about the 37 capped German international.
“Talent comes at a price, and at Arsenal we are always interested in youngsters with experience. I repeat, I’m not talking about players from other clubs, but in the case of Kai he has already shown a lot, including winning a Champions League. He is a talented player, versatile and only 24 years old.”
Again, many fans will take that as an acknowledgement that having been directly name checked a potential deal securing his services for the coming season is simply a matter of time before it goes through officially and we get proper confirmation.
Then we see what else might happen.