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Arsenal confirm signing of Declan Rice in British record £105m deal

Declan Rice has completed his transfer from West Ham to Arsenal in a British record £105 million (€122 million) deal.

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

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.

Speaking to the Arsenal website following the confirmation of his move, Rice said he was determined to take his game to another level with the Gunners.

“In football, amazing opportunities arise. Big clubs, like Arsenal, have come for me and it’s really hard to turn down,” Rice said.

“You only ever get one career and I really believe in what (manager) Mikel (Arteta) is building here and the squad he’s building. I’m really looking forward to the future with Arsenal.”

“With Mikel and how he works, the squad, how young everyone is, the energy around the club and also the challenge of getting Arsenal back to where they belong, that means a lot to me.

“I know the fans really want that. For me as a player, I’ve come here really hungry to have more success and to spend my best years at this great club.

“I know he (Arteta) is going to get the best out of me. I know I’ve got more levels to go up in my game and I feel like he’s the manager to take me to those next levels. I am really excited to be working with him.”

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.

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

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.

“We’re really happy that Declan is joining us. 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,” Arteta said.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has strengthened his squad during the summer transfer window (John Walton/PA)

“Declan is bringing undoubted quality to the club and he is an exceptional talent who has the potential to be very successful here.

“Declan has great experience in the Premier League at only 24 years old. He has captained a very good West Ham team and as we all saw, he recently lifted a European trophy.

“The responsibility and role he has taken on has been very impressive and we are really excited that he is joining us.”

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