REAL MADRID are reportedly interested in signing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

But Arsenal are still understood to be the frontrunners to sign the England international, with the 24-year-old having already “given his word” to the Gunners.

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Declan Rice is set to leave West Ham at the end of the season[/caption]

Rice will enter the final year of his contract this summer amid interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Arsenal and Chelsea are leading the way in their pursuit of the Hammers captain – who is valued at £80million.

Man Utd have also been linked with him despite signing Casemiro in the summer.

El Nacional are reporting that the player has told Arsenal he will join them at the end of the season.

That is despite Real Madrid president Florentino Perez being a long-time admirer of the midfielder.

The Los Blancos chief considered a bid for Rice in the past, but ultimately decided against doing so as the England man was deemed not for sale.

Now he is expected to leave in the summer given both his contract situation and the fact that West Ham are struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table.

However, it has been claimed that Real Madrid will not try to sign Rice while Carlo Ancelotti is still manager.

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And with no sign of the Italian’s imminent departure, the Spanish giants are expected to take a backseat for the time being.

Rice has played more than 200 games for West Ham, contributing 11 goals and 12 assists.

He has also already racked up 39 caps for England, scoring twice.

He is known to have been a boyhood Chelsea fan, with his goof friend Mason Mount also already at the club.

But Arsenal’s recent interest has thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to his future.

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