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Pundit tips Arsenal to sign Caicedo instead of Declan Rice

Ex-Arsenal defender turned pundit Lee Dixon claims the Gunners aren’t ‘really interested’ in West Ham United ace Declan Rice and instead they are using him as a ‘smokescreen’ whilst looking at other targets.

Despite purchasing Jorginho on deadline day this winter, the north London club are reportedly looking to bring in a new midfielder to reinforce the engine room at the end of this season.

It has widely been suggested that Rice – who is seemingly looking to leave West Ham next summer in order to take the next step in his career – is Arsenal’s primary target and they have already made contact with the Englishman’s representatives over a potential summer deal.

However, quoted on, Dixon has said that he doesn’t think Arsenal are actually looking to sign Rice next summer, instead, the Gunners are using him as a ‘smokescreen’ whilst exploring other options.

Dixon also says that although the midfielder is a very good player, West Ham’s £100m price tag of Rice is unrealistic as the England international isn’t worth that much. So, Arsenal will not spend the £100m fee to lure the 24-year-old away from the London Stadium.

Arsenal’s midfielder search

Dixon said:

“I don’t think Arsenal will pay £100million. I don’t think Rice is worth £100million to be honest. I think West Ham are going to want even more than that. I don’t know who Arsenal are looking at.

“But based on the way they’ve recruited so far I would suggest that they’ve got alternatives. It might be that Rice is a bit of a smoke screen, and they’re not really that interested.”

“I think he’s a really good player but I’m not convinced he will be at Arsenal next season.”

When asked who Arsenal should sign in order to strengthen the midfield, the ex-defender said that Moises Caicedo would be an ideal fit for the north London club.

Dixon said:

“I like Caicedo. Caicedo certainly fits in at Arsenal. I think he’s a really good player.”

The Brighton & Hove Albion man wouldn’t be a cheap alternative for Arsenal as it has been suggested that the Seagulls want a fee of around £90m to let their star man leave in the summer.

Caicedo has also been on the Gunners’ radar in recent months as they tried to purchase him this winter and even submitted two official proposals worth around £70m, but a deal never materialised. So, they opted to sign Jorginho as an alternative option.

However, it has previously been reported that the Brighton man remains on Arteta’s wish-list and the Spanish boss’ side could reignite their interest in signing him in the summer.

So, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be able to sign Rice or Caicedo at the end of this season to reinforce the engine room for next term.

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