Arsenal are keen on Joao Cancelo and are preparing a £92m Declan Rice bid as summer plans are revealed

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Bayern Munich's Joao Cancelo in the Champions League quarter-finals against Manchester City on April 19, 2023 - Arsenal keen on Joao Cancelo and ready & # 92m Declan Rice offer as summer plans revealed - Getty Images / Matthias Hangst

Arsenal are interested in West Ham United midfielder Joao Cancelo and are working on a £92 million deal for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice.

But they fear City will be less willing to sell them this summer after the signings of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko helped them push Pep Guardiola’s side all the way in the Premier League title race this season. .

Arsenal are keen to strengthen their backline this summer and expressed a strong interest in Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda in January, which could be reviewed if a move for 28-year-old Cancelo proves impossible. .

Cancelo was loaned out to Bayern Munich in January, but will return to City at the end of the season after failing to impress the German club’s head coach Thomas Tuchel.

That has alerted Arsenal, whose head coach Mikel Arteta worked briefly with Cancelo at City before taking over at the Emirates in December 2019, four months after the Portuguese moved to Manchester.

Cancelo is contracted to City until 2027, meaning the League leaders are in control of his future, having signed his latest renewal which included an increase on his starting salary of £ 80,000 per week.

The Portugal international would add his award-winning experience to Arteta’s young squad, having won two titles with City, one at Juventus and one at Benfica. Bayern are also on course to win the Bundesliga this season.

Arsenal fear that City will be more willing to do business with them this year, but it remains to be seen whether Cancelo will have other options to consider, or whether Guardiola would be prepared to keep him at the club.

Arsenal’s hunt for a full-back has taken on more urgency amid fears Takehiro Tomiyasu could struggle to play much before Christmas after undergoing surgery on a knee injury, and the club’s desire to sell Kieran Tierney .

Tierney is one of several players, including Granit Xhaka, who is close to agreeing a move to Bayer Leverkusen, Rob Holding, Folarin Balogun and Nuno Tavares, who Arsenal are willing to sell, while bids are expected for Emile Smith Rowe , Charlie Patino and Albert Sambi Lokonga, who have been linked with Burnley.

Raising funds through sales will help increase Arteta’s transfer kit, with the biggest cost currently being held back for Rice.

Arsenal are putting together a club-record £92m bid for England international Rice, but West Ham will want to pay as much of that fee up front.

Despite Manchester United’s interest, Arsenal are still confident they can agree a deal with West Ham and land Rice this summer.

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