Arsenal can prove the club legend wrong and hurt Erik ten Hag’s Man Utd at the same time

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Arsenal can beat Manchester United and also prove one of the club’s former players wrong.

Arsenal can prove Martin Keown wrong this summer by spending a huge sum on Declan Rice. The Gunners could also beat rivals Manchester United, who are likely to be closing in on the Premier League top spots next season.

Arsenal are confident of signing Rice in the summer. West Ham know they will likely have to sell, but they won’t make it easy for any interested parties.

They will demand a fee of at least £100m and perhaps as much as £120m depending on the amount of interest in the player. United are a longtime admirer of Rice and are also in contention.

Champions League football is yet to be confirmed at Old Trafford, which could be a deciding factor in Rice seeing them as a viable option. Erik ten Hag could also set aside a large chunk of his summer budget to sign a striker.

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But with the possible acquisition of Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim, United could have the money to sign both. However, Arsenal can beat them having already qualified for next season’s Champions League and have shown this season that they are capable of pushing Manchester City close to the Premier League title.

Rice’s signing could hurt United’s chances of competing for major titles next season. He would improve Arsenal’s midfield substantially and also force Ten Hag to look for alternative targets.

Arsenal would also prove Keown wrong if they clinched Rice. The former defender said this week that he did not believe his former club had the finances to secure a deal for the 24-year-old.

Keown told talkSPORT: “I’m sure Arsenal will be interested but there won’t be a transfer fee and it will be huge. West Ham will want to cash in while they run out of their contract.

“They need to get the deal right and take advantage of it. Rice helped keep them in the Premier League.

“I think he will be very expensive for Arsenal, frankly. I think he will be very expensive for Liverpool too, who have been in the Champions League for several years.

“He’s a player that Arsenal will like, but not with the costs involved, I think it’s too much. Looking at Arsenal’s business, I don’t think it’s a path they’ll go down.

“I don’t think they have the money, even if the Champions League brings in big revenue. I don’t see him as a player Arsenal can buy.”

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