Arsenal fell short in the Premier League title race and will finish second, behind Manchester City. Mikel Arteta's men face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates on Sunday (May 28) in the league.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are putting together preparations to secure the services of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. Elsewhere, the North London side are planning contract renewal talks with their captain Martin Odegaard.
On that note, here's a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on May 24, 2023:
Arsenal preparing to sign Declan Rice
Arsenal are working on an offer for Declan Rice, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
The English midfielder is a target for Arteta this summer. Rice has enjoyed a stellar run with West Ham United but is now ready for a fresh challenge. With his contract expiring in 2024, and the Englishman reluctant for an extension, the Hammers are expected to cash in on him this summer.
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jacobs said that West Ham's £120 million valuation for the 24-year-old is unrealistic.
"With Declan Rice, a lot of the prep is being done internally at Arsenal as they start to understand what they may need to get Rice and what is more gamesmanship on the West Ham side. So, this British transfer record number and David Moyes has even said as large as £120m is, in my opinion, unrealistic from West Ham," said Jacobs.
Jacobs added that Rice's situation cannot be compared to that of Enzo Fernandez, who joined Chelsea for a blockbuster deal in January.
"Comparing Rice to Enzo Fernandez is not necessarily apt. Of course, if we're comparing footballer to footballer, you can make a comparison. But the situation with Enzo was that he had a sky-high release clause, and Chelsea desperately wanted him. Whereas with Declan Rice, he’s got one year plus a one-year extension left on the contract," said Jacobs.
"That affects the valuation, as does Declan Rice wanting to leave West Ham. After being extremely firm on keeping him last summer, there has always been an understanding that Rice could depart for the right opportunity, and West Ham have been resigned in many ways to losing Rice.”
With Granit Xhaka likely to leave and Thomas Partey also linked with a move away, the Gunners could be desperate to sign Rice this summer.
Gunners planning Martin Odegaard talks
Arsenal are planning to extend Martin Odegaard's contract, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. The Norwegian midfielder has been outstanding for the Gunners this season. The 24-year-old was handed the armband at the start of the campaign and has led from the front.
Odegaard has amassed 15 goals and eight assists in 44 games across competitions this season. The Gunners are pleased with his efforts and want to curb any speculation regarding his future. Arsenal have the option of extending the player's contract till 2026 but want to hand him an improved deal instead.
The 24-year-old is happy at the Emirates, and an extension is likely to proceed without any complications. The Gunners are expected to initiate talks for a new deal soon.
Arsenal want Joao Cancelo
The Gunners remain keen to sign Joao Cancelo, according to Ben Jacobs. The Portuguese right-back is on loan to Bayern Munich but is scheduled to return to Manchester City at the end of the season. He's surplus to requirements at the Etihad, so the Gunners want to sign him to address their right-back conundrum.
In his column for Caught Offside, Jacobs pointed out that City could be reluctant to sell to the Gunners, given the success of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
"The links with Arsenal are genuine, and there’s no doubt Edu and Mikel Arteta will look for defensive reinforcements. But it will be a complicated transfer to pull off. Manchester City won’t be as forthcoming selling to Arsenal given how close they ran the recently-crowned champions this season," wrote Jacobs.
"The transfers of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko show the clubs can do business, but the dynamic between them is a little different now heading into 2023/24. Arsenal also still have Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda on their radar, who they explored signing in January."
Cancelo would be an upgrade on Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White at the Emirates.
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