Declan Rice ‘bowled over’ with Mikel Arteta meeting ahead of £105m Arsenal transfer

Declan Rice was ‘bowled over’ by Mikel Arteta following a meeting with the Arsenal manager in January, according to reports.

Arteta is closing in on one of his priority targets for the summer transfer window as Arsenal have agreed a £105 million deal with West Ham this week.

Manchester City had threatened to ruin Arsenal’s transfer plans, however, the Premier League champions did not follow up with a second bid after their £90 million offer was rejected by West Ham.

It remains to be seen whether Rice would’ve opted to join Pep Guardiola’s side instead of Arsenal, with reports claiming that the midfielder had made Arsenal his preferred destination this summer.

According to The Sunday Times, Rice has already met Arteta and was impressed by the Arsenal manager’s plan to improve his game and develop his skillset.

The report also claims that Arsenal have noticed that Rice is a ‘quick learner’.

Arsenal’s decision to break the British transfer record to sign Rice has already been endorsed by Emile Smith Rowe.

‘I can’t speak highly enough of him,’ the Arsenal midfielder told The Sun.

‘I remember my first camp and I was surprised with how good he actually was.

‘He was the best in training. Just his level, intensity, technically, everything he was doing. A real leader and still so young. He was really, really good.’