Arsenal will welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates on Sunday (March 19) in the Premier League. Mikel Arteta’s team are leading the title race after 27 games.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are confident of winning the race for Declan Rice. Elsewhere, the north London side are interested in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. On that note, here’s a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on March 18, 2023:

Arsenal confident in Declan Rice chase

Arsenal are confident of winning the race for Declan Rice’s signature, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.

The English midfielder is in the final 18 months of his West Ham United contract, but the Hammers have struggled to tie him down to an extension. If he continues to stall a new deal, the club could be forced to cash in on him this summer.

The Gunners are monitoring the situation with interest. Arteta wants a new holding midfielder this summer, and Rice is his preferred choice. Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jacobs said that the 24-year-old would cost at least £75 million.

“We know that Rice is going to be one priority for Arsenal, and even at the lower end of estimations, he’s going to cost around £75m. David Moyes has said on record that he believes that Rice should cost equivalent to Enzo Fernandez’s British record transfer fee,” said Jacobs.

He added:

“So, Arsenal are prepared to enter that type of race, and they’re confident of winning it as well.”

Rice has made 229 appearances for West Ham, registering 12 goals and 13 assists.

Gunners eyeing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Arsenal are interested in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to via The Hard Tackle. The Serbian midfielder is being linked with an exit from Lazio ahead of the summer. The 28-year-old has enjoyed a decent run with the Serie A side so far, delivering some eye-catching performances.

Milinkovic-Savic has amassed 64 goals and 59 assists over 329 appearances for Lazio but is looking for a fresh challenge ahead of the summer. His contract with Lazio runs out in less than 18 months, so he could be offloaded this year unless he signs a new deal. The Gunners are long-term admirers of the 28-year-old and could be tempted to move for him this summer.

The north London side want a new midfielder for the left-eight position, and the Serb fits the bill. However, Arsenal will face competition from Manchester United and Newcastle United for the player’s signature.

Mikel Arteta departure unlikely right now, says Pete O’Rourke

Journalist Pete O’Rourke reckon the Gunners are not in immediate danger of losing Mikel Arteta.

The Spanish manager has patiently built a formidable team at the Emirates and has got them firing on all cylinders this season. His efforts have earned him admirers at clubs across the continent, with Barcelona interested in his services.

However, speaking to Give Me Sport, O’Rourke said that Arteta is fully invested with the Gunners right now.

“It’d be a massive blow to lose him, but it’s no surprise to see Arteta attracting interest from other clubs. There was talk of Barcelona not long ago – I would take it as a compliment for the work that he’s doing. I don’t think there’s any real fear for Arsenal fans to think Arteta might leave the club right now. He’s in this project,” said O’Rourke.

Arteta has been in charge for 171 games for the north London side and has registered 100 wins.