Arsenal FINALLY seal £105m deal for Declan Rice as Arteta gets his man| SolSportHQ
Arsenal have announced the £105million signing of Declan Rice from West Ham – with the England midfielder signing a long-term deal at the Emirates.
Rice had been one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer after an impressive campaign with the Hammers ended with him starring in their Europa Conference League triumph over Fiorentina in May – with Arsenal and Man City battling for his signature ever since.
The Gunners had two bids rejected for the 24-year-old – one of £80m and another of £90m – before City entered the race and having their own offer turned down.
But after City dropped out of negotiations, Arsenal became the unchallenged frontrunners for Rice – despite interest from Manchester United – and the club finally had a £100m bid plus £5m in add-ons accepted.
Since coming to an agreement, both clubs have been locked in talks about how to structure the payments and iron out the finer details of the deal.
Mail Sport were first to reveal last month that the two London clubs had agreed a fee in principle for Rice.
Arsenal’s offer proposed the guaranteed portion of the fee be paid over the course of four years, while West Ham ideally wanted the cash paid in two instalments by the start of 2025.
However, the deal hit a brief snag after both clubs delayed in confirming the agreement as they hashed out the structure and legalities of the transfer.
Ahead of the deal, Rice has been in Portugal, training alongside Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, and his Portugal team-mate Rafael Leao of AC Milan at luxury sports complex The Campus, in Quinto do Lago in the Algarve region.
Mail Sport reported on Tuesday that the weeks of delay were set to end imminently as the Hammers sent through their final approved wording on the deal to Arsenal’s lawyers.
Rice is understood to have informed West Ham of his wish to join up with Mikel Arteta – who had made him his priority transfer target this summer – and he is now set to earn around £250,000-a-week in north London.
With the final sign-off from the Gunners’ camp, the announcement calls time on months of discussions as Arsenal nab their No 1 long-term transfer target.
West Ham previously shared an enormous hint about the player’s future with the launch of their new Umbro kit – the related imagery not containing any photographs of the future club legend.
West Ham were frustrated with the Gunners over the slow progress of the deal, but completion not only frees up an exorbitant windfall to supercharge the east London club’s intentions in the transfer market, but allows Rice to join up with his new team for their imminent tour.
Arteta is a huge fan of Rice and views him as a future captain of the club.
He becomes Arsenal’s second signing of the summer after the £65m arrival of German playmaker Kai Havertz from Chelsea, with a £40m deal for Ajax defender Jurrien Timber next in the pipeline after agreeing a fee with the Dutch club.
Arteta’s plan is to deploy Havertz as a No 8 in midfield, with Rice acting as the pivot behind him – allowing Martin Odegaard freedom to push further forward.
Since making his debut at the age of 18 in 2017, Rice has developed into a homegrown hero for the east London club, making it difficult for them to part with him.
In total, he racked up 245 appearances, scoring 15 goals.
During that time, Rice – who played three times for Republic of Ireland in 2018 before switching allegiance to England – has established himself as a key man for Gareth Southgate’s men, winning 43 caps.
The Hammers’ triumph in the Europa Conference League last season capped off what had been a difficult season for the club as they flirted with relegation and Moyes came under significant pressure.
Moyes will now be tasked with using funds generated from the sale of Rice to help flesh out the squad for next season.
Arsenal fly to America on Sunday, where their pre-season preparations will continue as they face MLS All-Stars in Washington, Manchester United in New Jersey and Barcelona in Los Angeles.
The club played their first friendly in Germany on Thursday, limping to a 1-1 draw against FC Nurnberg after an own goal from Jorginho leveled the tie, which featured new recruit Havertz.