Arsenal are preparing for another Premier League title push.
The Gunners unveiled the signing of Declan Rice on Saturday after he moved from West Ham United for a reported guaranteed £100 million with a further £5 million in add-ons. Treble-winning Manchester City withdrew from the race after their £90-million proposal was rejected.
The deal makes Rice the most expensive British player of all time, narrowly beating the £100-million sum Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in 2021.
“First of all I just want to say a massive thank you to all the Arsenal fans for the support so far,” Rice said. “It’s been overwhelming – there’s been a lot going on, a lot of speculation for months. But obviously as a player, you want to get things dealt with as quickly as possible, so you’re settled.
“Today I’ve had my first day and I’m feeling really at home.”
Rice signed long-term that will reportedly keep him at at the Emirates Stadium until 2028, according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.
His switch follows the summer arrivals of Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber. Arsenal are also reportedly in talks to sign Southampton’s Romeo Lavia. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka has left north London for Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen.
Rice, 24, developed alongside Mark Noble in West Ham’s midfield and gradually assumed greater responsibility before Noble retired last summer. He’s since added more attacking impetus to his game – effectively becoming a ball-carrying No. 8 after making his name as a No. 6 – and ranked sixth in successful tackles and third in total passes out of Premier League central midfielders last season. He also completed more dribbles than Jadon Sancho, Miguel Almiron, and Son Heung-Min.
“We’re really happy that Declan is joining us,” manager Mikel Arteta said. “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.”
Rice became just the third West Ham captain to lift silverware after he helped them win the Europa Conference League on June 7. Hours later, club chairman David Sullivan said the academy product was promised a transfer this summer.
“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,” Rice said in a farewell letter to West Ham fans. “Ultimately, though, it has only ever been about my ambition to play at the very highest level of the game.”
“… This club and its supporters will always be in my heart, and forever a part of who I am.”
In addition to wanting to remain in London, Rice was apparently keen to join Arsenal due to their attacking style of play.