Arsenal have been warned that there are “loose parallels with the Mykhaylo Mudryk hijack” as they prepare to battle Chelsea for Declan Rice this summer.
Mudryk was desperate to join Arsenal in the summer, with the Ukrainian international publicly stating his desire to team up with Mikel Arteta.
But Chelsea came in at the last minute to snatch Mudryk away with Arsenal unwilling to pay Shakhtar Donetsk’s asking price.
And the Gunners could face a similar problem this summer as they look to sign Declan Rice from West Ham.
Rice is expected to leave the Hammers in the transfer window, and both Arsenal and Chelsea are thought to be keen on the England international.
And although reports suggest Arsenal is now Rice’s preferred destination, Chelsea’s ability to offer a “stronger financial package” could give them the upper hand, according to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs.
Jacobs said: “Chelsea obviously want to further strengthen their central midfield. They will battle Arsenal for Declan Rice. The West Ham midfielder has spoken glowingly about Mikel Arteta and wants Champions League football. But Chelsea certainly haven’t given up.
“David Moyes is citing Enzo Fernandez’s British-record transfer (£107m/€121m). Arsenal don’t want to go that high. Chelsea might be prepared to offer West Ham a stronger financial package, in which case there are some loose parallels with the Mykhaylo Mudryk hijack.
“But the big difference is both clubs have been eyeing up Rice for quite some time, and working on the player side, and Chelsea have never been clear frontrunners.
“When Arsenal and Chelsea go head-to-head for a player it’s always a battle of styles. Arsenal have a more developed project and almost certain Champions League football, but Chelsea have a long-term vision and aren’t afraid to offer good money, even within their new model, which is designed to lower the overall wage bill.
“I think what helps Arsenal, though, is they may be prepared to spend a bit more on top targets given the season they’re having and income they’ll bring in.”
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