By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

28th Apr, 2023 | 5:00pm

Sources: Arsenal to blow summer budget on two stars - both play for PL rivals

Arsenal are preparing to spend a large majority of their summer budget on bringing a central midfielder to The Emirates, sources have told Football Insider.

Mikel Arteta is eager to strengthen his midfield department in the summer and the Gunners board are pushing hard to sign either Moises Caicedo or Declan Rice for the 2023/24 season.

Football Insider sources revealed earlier this month that Arsenal’s interest in Caicedo is not dead despite him signing a new deal at Brighton this season.

It was widely reported that the North London club saw multiple bids rejected by Brighton for Caicedo in January, including a £75million bid submitted just before the deadline.

Caicedo then signed a new deal with Brighton until 2027 after staying put at the Amex Stadium, but Arsenal are still keen to sign the Ecuadorian international.

Rice is also a top target for Arteta’s side and it looks increasingly likely that the England international will depart West Ham this summer.

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The 24-year-old has rejected a number of contracts from the Hammers this season and with his current deal expiring in 2024 they could be forced to sell him this summer.

This site’s sources revealed last Saturday (22 April) that Arsenal now consider themselves to be in pole position to sign Rice this summer.

Chelsea’s pursuit of the England international has been halted by financial issues, opening the door for Arsenal to sign him this summer.

In other news, Stan Kroenke has just finalised a ‘major’ Arsenal move five years in the making