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Jack Wilshere hopes ‘special’ West Ham skipper Declan Rice ‘does come’ to Arsenal – and tips the 24-year-old to eventually wear the armband for Mikel Arteta’s side
Jack Wilshere is keen for Declan Rice to make the switch from West Ham to Arsenal – and believes it is a move that could see the England midfielder become the Gunners’ captain in future.
Rice’s future is likely to become one of the stories of the summer, with a number of Europe’s elite clubs keen on his services.
As well as Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are also believed to be monitoring his situation closely.
And West Ham chairman David Sullivan admitted that the player has likely played his last game in lifting the Europa Conference League trophy with the Hammers, beating Fiorentina 2-1 on Wednesday night in Prague.
Wilshere – who briefly played for the Hammers from 2018-2020 – insisted that Rice is a ‘special’ player that should make the move to north London rather than any of his other suitors.
Jack Wilshere believes Declan Rice should make the move to Arsenal over his other suitors
The England midfielder is being courted by the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Bayern Munich
I saw his [post Europa Conference League] interview, I think he made it clear that he knows there is speculation, and everyone knows that Arsenal are interested,’ he told AFTV.
Listen, what Dec has done for a young player, for his club West Ham, for England, to lift a trophy. But also he is their main man, to have that on your shoulders at 23, 24 is special.
‘So if anyone gets him, I hope it is Arsenal because I think he will be sensational for the next eight to 10 years and he eventually could be an Arsenal captain. So, I hope he does come but it’s down to him.’
Mail Sport have already revealed Arsenal are aiming to swiftly conclude a £90million deal for the 24-year-old England star this summer.
Midfield is believed to be a priority area in their summer recruitment plans, as the Gunners look to regroup after their disappointing end to the season.
Further emphasis is believed to be put on the middle of the park, with Granit Xhaka set to end his long association with the club with a move to the Bundesliga.
Mail Sport also revealed that the Hammers want the guaranteed portion of Rice’s transfer fee paid by next summer.
The consensus at West Ham is seemingly that the player is set to depart, with Sullivan admitting the club had ‘promised’ Rice he could move on.
Rice steered West Ham to their first European trophy since 1965 by beating Fiorentina 2-1
Mikel Arteta (left) and Thomas Tuchel (right) are both keen on signing the England midfielder
vSpeaking on talkSPORT on Thursday, Sullivan said: ‘I think it has to be [his last game]. We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going.
‘You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season. In due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement – or several replacements.
‘It’s not something we want to happen. We offered him £200,000-a-week 18 months ago. He turned it down.
‘It’s cost him £10million to stay at West Ham in that time (in lost wages). And he wants to go. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.’