Arsenal sound out Sterling and Mahrez
Arsenal are enquiring over Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez as they begin to look at ways to enhance their front line for next season.
At a time when Manchester City are making their first move for Harry Kane, Arsenal’s recruitment team have decided to check on the status of both Sterling and Mahrez.
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Sounding out such players is a sign of Arsenal’s intent to show ambition in this summer market, even though it is thought unlikely that either would want to join the Gunners.
Arsenal are trying to gauge which level of player they can shop for this summer.
In the past week they have been linked with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, defender Ben White, midfielders Yves Bissouma, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ruben Neves and James Maddison as well as forward Andre Silva.
All of those names are of genuine interest at a time when the club are trying to discover who they can expect to attract without European football to offer.
The case for Sterling and Mahrez is interesting as it backs up claims from some insiders around the club that Arsenal could invest heavily in this summer window.
It is true that they are having to offload players at the same time, yet outlay on new talent will top £100million if they manage to recruit the four or five new faces they would like.
Sterling and Mahrez both hope to stay at Man City and will have talks over their situations in July.
As we reported last week, the club are ready to sign Harry Kane but are already working on alternative forward options if it becomes clear Spurs will not sell.
Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane (England)
Image credit: Getty Images
Rice has head turned
Declan Rice is understood to be increasingly open to the idea of leaving West Ham United this summer - and Chelsea are most likely to lead the chase for him.
West Ham have qualified for the Europa League next season yet Champions League clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been linked to the midfielder.
Sources close to the player believe his head has been turned and that he is interested in pursuing a move to a bigger club.
The big sticking point is the money involved in any deal. Getting him out of West Ham will prove very difficult this summer as the Hammers do not want to lose Rice and believe he is now worth more than the £70million they valued him at last year. This is largely due to his rise in status and the fact he is now a starting member of the England team.
It is also understood Rice will be looking for in advance of £150,000-a-week wages if he moves clubs - as well as a substantial signing on fee.
Earlier this year City, United and Liverpool were assured by people acting on behalf of the player that he would consider leaving London when he does leave the London Stadium.
Yet Chelsea remain favourites to sign him - partly because of links that already exist but also because they could meet the financial needs it would take to complete a deal.
Burnley close on Nathan Collins signing
Burnley are close to the signing of Stoke City defender Nathan Collins after a bid of around £12million was accepted.
The player’s medical is being planned ahead of the deal being confirmed and comes at a time when Stoke are coming to terms with the fact that they need to get a better balance to their squad, with too many players on high wages.
It will mark a good defensive signing for Sean Dyche, who looks set to stay at the club despite being linked with the managerial vacancy at Crystal Palace.
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