Declan Rice signs for Arsenal in record £105m transfer deal from West Ham

Arsenal have completed the signing of Declan Rice from West Ham United for a club and British player record transfer fee.

The Gunners will pay £100m for the England international, plus an additional £5m to come in bonuses. It also marks the biggest fee received by the Hammers for a single deal.

Enzo Fernandez cost Chelsea £105.6m earlier this year in what will remain the most expensive signing for a British club, but Rice’s fee eclipses that of Jack Grealish last summer to make him the most expensive British player ever.

Rice, aged 24, becomes the second major midfield arrival of the summer for Mikel Arteta’s side after the capture of Kai Havertz from Chelsea late in June and will wear No 41.

It is expected that the new pair, along with captain Martin Odegaard, will form a new regular midfield trio for Arsenal, as they attempt to go one better than last season when they finished Premier League runners-up behind Manchester City.

Rice was briefly linked with the champions, though they fell out of the running once the Emirates Stadium club raised their bid to record levels.

He will now carry the burden of expectation at the Emirates heading into the new campaign, both due to the size of the fee to sign him and also because he’ll be operating at the base of a midfield which appears decidedly attack-heavy. The role could therefore also be a departure from the one that he operated in at West Ham, where he had more licence to roam forward as a ball-carrier.

Having won 43 caps for England, Rice was already a key player under Gareth Southgate at international level and will now hope to elevate his game even further with a step up on the club stage

His final match for the Hammers saw him lift the Europa Conference League trophy after defeating Fiorentina in the final.

(Getty Images)

Rice had earlier penned an open letter to Hammers fans confirming his departure from the club for which he made 245 appearances.

He said: “I want you to know how tough a decision it has been for me to leave an environment that I have loved and cherished so much. This club and its supporters will always be in my heart, and forever a part of who I am.

“Ultimately, though, it has only ever been about my ambition to play at the very highest level of the game.

“Playing on the opposite team to West Ham for the first time will be an unusual experience. I’m not sure yet exactly how I will feel, but I also know you will all understand and respect that my professional loyalties have to now lie with my new club.”

Arsenal manager Arteta stated his excitement at the signing, saying: “We’re really happy that Declan is joining us. He is a player with tremendous ability, who has been performing at a high level in the Premier League and for England for a number of seasons now. Declan is bringing undoubted quality to the club and he is an exceptional talent who has the potential to be very successful here.

“Declan has great experience in the Premier League at only 24 years old. He has captained a very good West Ham team and as we all saw, he recently lifted a European trophy. The responsibility and role he has taken on has been very impressive and we are really excited that he is joining us.”

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