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Arsenal confirm signing of Declan Rice

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Jul 2023

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Declan Rice has completed his transfer from West Ham to Arsenal in a British record £105million deal.

The England midfielder’s departure from the club he joined a decade ago was confirmed by the Hammers on Saturday afternoon, with Arsenal announcing the switch had been completed.

Rice’s move to the Emirates Stadium on a long-term contract sees him become the most expensive English player in history and follows on from the former Irons captain having guided his old club to victory in the Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina.

Earlier on Saturday, Rice had penned an open letter to West Ham fans, revealing the desire of playing in the Champions League – which Arsenal will next season – was one of the reasons behind his “tough” decision to leave.

West Ham’s joint-chairman David Sullivan confirmed last month the east London club had a gentleman’s agreement with Rice to allow him to leave this summer after the player turned down the offer of a highly-lucrative new contract.

Rice made 245 appearances for the Irons, with his last helping secure a first trophy since 1980.

“This club and its supporters will always be in my heart and forever a part of who I am,” Rice said. “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.”

Rice is the latest addition to an Arsenal squad which has already been strengthened over the summer, with the arrival of Netherlands defender Jurrien Timber having been confirmed on Friday.

German international Kai Havertz has moved from Chelsea, while the Gunners have also seen France defender William Saliba and Reiss Nelson commit their futures to the club on new long-term contracts.

With Granit Xhaka having left to join Bayer Leverkusen, the arrival of Rice will further bolster Mikel Areta’s midfield options as Arsenal look to close the gap on Manchester City after finishing runners-up in the Premier League last season.

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