Arsenal and West Ham reach final agreement on £105m to sign Declan Rice

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Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign West Ham United captain Declan Rice, after compromise on the structure of the £105m deal was finalised on Tuesday night.

It is understood Arsenal will pay the initial £100m over two years. One source has told Sky Sports News that Rice will have a medical this week ahead of signing a long-term contract.

The move will smash Arsenal’s club transfer record (Nicolas Pepe from Lille for £72m in 2019) and will be the biggest transfer fee between two British clubs.

The transfer will also be just below the British transfer record, with Chelsea paying £106.8m for midfielder Enzo Fernandez in January of this year.

Rice will bring a decade-long spell at West Ham to an end, rising from a youth-team player to club captain. He made 245 appearances for the Hammers since making his first-team debut in 2017 and his final game for the club saw him lift West Ham’s first trophy in 47 years by winning the Europa Conference League final.

If Arsenal needed any further convincing over the merits of a move for Declan Rice, they got it just after the half-hour mark during their 2-2 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium in April.

Mikel Arteta’s side were two goals up and seemingly cruising towards a victory which would have sent them six points clear of Manchester City. But it all changed with a moment of quick-thinking from a player they now hope to make their record signing.

Rice, seeing Kieran Tierney about aim a pass towards Thomas Partey deep in the Arsenal half, set off on a sprint to close the Ghana midfielder down, reaching him just in time to steal possession, then carrying the ball into the box and finding the onrushing Lucas Paqueta.

The subsequent penalty, won by Paqueta and scored by Said Benrahma, shifted the momentum of the game away from Arsenal. Perhaps even that of the title race too. And it started with Rice.

That passage of play showed many of the qualities that make Rice so appealing to Arsenal: the anticipation to spot the opportunity; the speed and power to get there and emerge with the ball; the composure to set up his team-mate and force the penalty.

Jude Bellingham became the most expensive English player of all time when he made the £115m move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid earlier this month.

Rice becomes the second most expensive, costing £5m more than the £100m Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in August 2021.

It would also be only the third time a English club has paid over £100m for a player.


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