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Arsene Wenger 'verdict' on Declan Rice proven right as Arsenal 'prepare £100m bid'

Arsene Wenger 'verdict' on Declan Rice proven right as Arsenal 'prepare £100m bid'

Wenger's prediction has come true.

Arsenal are reportedly preparing a big-money bid for Declan Rice - and Arsene Wenger's past views on the West Ham star have already been proven right.

The Guardian reported on Monday evening that the Gunners were set to agree a transfer fee worth £100 million for Rice - although no official bid has yet been submitted to West Ham.

A move to the Emirates Stadium will likely make Rice Arsenal's first summer signing ahead of what is expected to be a busy window for Mikel Arteta's side.

The window officially opens on Wednesday, and with Football Insider claiming that the 24-year-old has said 'yes' to the Arsenal project and verbally agreed personal terms, a deal could be agreed quickly.

Rice is currently on international duty with England, having lifted the Europa Conference League with West Ham last week.

During the international break, the midfielder could become an Arsenal player - and he has already proven ex-Gunners boss Arsene Wenger right with his rapid rise up the ranks at the London Stadium.

Wenger on Rice

Rice began his youth career as part of Chelsea's academy, but was released at the age of 14. He went on to join West Ham, signing his first professional contract in 2015.

After graduating to the senior squad in the 2016/17 campaign, he was primarily played as a midfielder but also featured as a central defender on occasion.

In recent seasons, however, he has made the defensive midfield spot his own, earning a reputation as one of the top players in that role in the Premier League.

He now looks likely to become Arsenal's club-record signing - fulfilling a prophecy from Wenger in the process.

In 2019, the London Evening Standard carried a report detailing the first time the legendary French manager watched Rice play.

It read: "It was early one afternoon in September 2015 and Arsene Wenger had been standing by one of the pitches at Arsenal's training ground watching his U18s play West Ham when, after 20 minutes, he decided he had seen enough.

"As he walked away, he turned to a member of his coaching staff and pointed out that the best player on the pitch was Declan Rice - a 16-year-old centre-back.

"Wenger was left in no doubt that he was a real talent."

Almost eight years on from Wenger's first view of Rice, he looks to be edging closer to having the opportunity to become an Arsenal star.

Featured Image Credit: PA / Julien Mattia/Zuma Press / Yui Mok/Nick Potts/PA Wire

Topics: Arsene Wenger, Declan Rice, Premier League, Transfers, West Ham United, Mikel Arteta