Arsenal host Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday (January 22) in the Premier League. Mikel Arteta’s wards are flying high atop the league table after 18 games, while their opponents are eight points behind in fourth.
Meanwhile, Declan Rice prefers a move to the Emirates. Elsewhere, the Gunners have suffered a setback in their pursuit of Eduardo Camavinga. On that note, here's a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on January 22, 2023:
Declan Rice prefers move to Emirates
Declan Rice prefers a move to Arsenal over Chelsea, according to The Guardian. The English midfielder is likely to leave West Ham United at the end of the season.
The 24-year-old has been outstanding for the Hammers in reecent seasons but is now itching to take the next step in his career. The player is not short of options, with the Blues and Gunners among the clubs eager to secure his signature.
Rice was a part of the Chelsea academy during his formative years but was allowed to leave before he could realise his potential. The club's hierarchy are eager to amend their mistake and are now pushing to secure his signature. However, the Englishman wants to move to the Emirates, as he is enticed by the idea of playing under Arteta.
The Spanish manager has taken his team to the top of the league this season, making them the favourites to go all the way. However, Arteta is aware that his team needs reinforcements to sustain their recent rise and wants to install Rice at the heart of midfield. West Ham would ideally like to demand a colossal fee, in excess of £100 million, for their star man.
However, the Englishman’s current deal expires in 2024, and he's yet to commit to a new contract. As such, the 24-year-old could be available on a cut-price deal at the end of the season. Rice has registered 26 appearances across competitions for the Hammers this season, scoring one goal and setting up three more.
Arsenal suffer Eduardo Camavinga setback
Arsenal have suffered a blow in their quest to take Eduardo Camavinga to the Emirates.
The French midfielder is one of the brightest young talents at the moment and has been quite impressive with Real Madrid. However, he's reportedly unsettled at the Santiago Bernabeu after failing to become a regular under Carlo Ancelotti.
The Gunners are hoping to secure his signature by offering him regular first-team football.
The north London giants have been heavily linked with a move for the player this month. However, speaking recently, as cited by 90 Min, the player’s agent Joshua Barnett has said that his client is happy with Los Blancos:
“There’s no truth (of him leaving). Of course every club in the world would want him, but he’s very happy in Real Madrid, and Real Madrid are very happy with Camavinga,” said Barnett.
Speaking recently, Ancelotti also stressed that the 20-year-old is firmly in his plans.
"I really believe in him. Admittedly, I’ve taken him off a number of times at the end of the first half, and I haven’t always been fair to him in this respect, but I have complete confidence in him, and he’ll contribute to the team tomorrow just as he always does,” said Ancelotti.
Camavinga has appeared 26 times across competitions this season for the La Liga giants, registering one assist.
Edu Gasper wants Raphinha at Emirates
Journalist Pete O’Rourke has said that Arsenal sporting director Edu Gasper is a fan of Raphinha.
The 26-year-old moved to Barcelona from Leeds United last summer but has struggled to settle at the Camp Nou. Arteta is looking for attacking additions and is now ready to return for the player.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a move for the Brazilian last summer but failed to get a deal across the line. Speaking to Give Me Sport, O’Rourke said that Edu believes his compatriot would be a superb fit at the Emirates.
“It makes a lot of sense, Arsenal’s interest in Raphinha. They were obviously very keen on signing him last summer before he moved to Barcelona, so I’m sure he has remained on the radar. Edu is a big admirer of his fellow Brazilian as well and thinks he could be a good fit for Arsenal,” said O’Rourke.
Raphinha has appeared 24 times across competitions for the Blaugrana this season, registering four goals and six assists.