Robin Jones/Getty Images
The Gunners got their man.
Arsenal has agreed to a deal with West Ham United for the transfer of Declan Rice after Manchester City pulled out of the race for the English midfielder, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein.
Arsenal will pay £105 million, or nearly $133 million, for the transfer of Rice. The fee will be a Premier League record for a British player.
Manchester City initially matched Arsenal’s £90 million proposal for Rice, but both bids were rejected, and the Gunners then increased their offer to £100 million and an extra £5 million in add-ons.
Rice debuted with West Ham in 2017 and he made 245 appearances for the club. He has been one of the best midfielders in Europe with his ability to break up play on the defensive end and turn it around on the attack.
The 24-year-old helped the Hammers to a seventh place finish in the Premier League in 2022-23 and a 2-1 victory in the Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina earlier this month.
Following the club’s victory over Fiorentina, West Ham chairman David Sullivan told reporters that Rice likely had played his last game for the Hammers and that he “wants to go.”
“We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going. You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season,” Sullivan said. “In due course, he has to get on and we have to get a replacement — or several replacements.
“It’s not something we want to happen. We offered him £200,000 a week 18 months ago. He turned it down. It’s cost him £10 million to stay at West Ham in that time (in lost wages). And he wants to go.
“You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.”
After finishing second in the Premier League to Manchester City last season, the Gunners have made it a priority to bring reinforcements to London this summer.
In addition to the transfer of Rice, the club agreed to a long-term contract with forward Kai Havertz from Chelsea and is also reportedly in “advanced talks” to sign Ajax defender Jurien Timber.