Arsenal are fighting to win their first Premier League title in two decades this season. Mikel Arteta’s men are atop the league after 23 games and next face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday (February 25).

Meanwhile, the Gunners are leading the race to sign Declan Rice, according to journalist Ben Jacobs. Elsewhere, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has said that the north London side are interested in Ivan Fresneda.

On that note, here’s a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on February 21, 2023:

Arsenal leading Declan Rice race

Arsenal are the favourites to snap up Declan Rice, according to Ben Jacobs. The English midfielder hasn’t signed a new deal with West Ham United. With his contract expiring in 2024, he could be sold this year. The Gunners are planning to bring him to the Emirates at the end of the season.

Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jacobs said that the north London side are ahead of Chelsea, Manchester United and Newcastle United in the race for Rice.

“Arsenal are still perhaps slightly ahead of Chelsea, simply because of their league position and how advanced their project is comparative to Chelsea,” said Jacobs.

He continued:

“Rice, as I’m told, would quite like to stay in London, so Chelsea and Arsenal may sense an opportunity there compared to say Manchester United or even Newcastle United.”

The 24-year-old has registered one goal and three assists in 28 games across competitions this season for the Hammers.

Gunners want Ivan Fresneda

Arsenal are interested in Ivan Fresneda, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Gunners are reportedly looking for a new right-back this summer, and recent reports have linked the club to Denzel Dumfries. However, Romano has refuted those claims.

In his column for Caught Offside, Romano said that the north London side have their eyes on Fresneda instead and are scouting him regularly.

“Despite reports to the contrary, at the moment I’m not aware of any negotiation between Arsenal and Inter for Dumfries,” wrote Romano.

He added:

“They are exploring right-back options, and Ivan Fresneda remains appreciated; they are sending scouts regularly to follow him, but Dumfries has completely different value for Inter, and at the moment, his situation is still quiet.”

Fresneda has been very impressive for Real Valladolid this season, appearing 12 times across competitions.

Garth Crooks impressed by Jorginho

BBC pundit Garth Crooks has said that Jorginho won him over with his recent performances.

The Italian joined the Gunners from Chelsea in January in a surprise move that raised a few eyebrows. However, he has hit the ground running at the Emirates, playing a key role in the weekend’s win over Aston Villa.

Jorginho’s performance on Saturday won him a place in Garth Crooks’ team of the week. In his column for BBC, Crooks said that the Italian is a perfect partner for Martin Odegaard in the middle of the park.

“I wasn’t entirely sure about the merits of his signing. Arsenal’s Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are having a good season, and Jorginho seemed to have lost whatever it was he had at Chelsea. However, I saw signs against Manchester City in midweek that he was getting the taste for the big games again,” wrote Crooks.

Crooks added:

“His performance against Aston Villa was biting, while his style of play complements the artistry of Martin Odegaard. The Italy international’s 93rd-minute strike may have gone down as an own goal, but he won’t give a monkey’s about that.”

Jorginho’s experience could be vital for Mikel Arteta’s side as they chase the Premier League title this season.