Declan Rice Becomes The Most Expensive British Footballer Of All-Time After His Move To Arsenal From West Ham.

Arsenal have finally officially unveiled Declan Rice after weeks of intense speculation.

The former West Ham United captain has become the most expensive English football player of all time arriving in a British record £105m deal, with Rice penning a long-term contract in north London understood to be until 2028 with the option of another year.

Having come close to winning the Premier League title last season, manager Mikel Arteta identified central midfield as an area that needed strengthening this summer and Rice emerged as Arsenal’s prime target.

Negotiations with West Ham proved very difficult, as both Arsenal and Manchester City saw big-money offers worth around £80m-£90m rejected by the Hammers – who were holding out for at least £100m.

The Gunners eventually had to agree a deal worth £100m guaranteed with £5m in add-ons and Rice was given permission to discuss personal terms and undergo his medical two weeks ago.

He completed his medical tests before heading off on holiday, However, the paperwork took far longer to complete than anticipated by Arsenal lawyers, meaning frustrated fans had to wait patiently for confirmation of the move.

West Ham first officially announced Rice had left the club on Saturday morning while the midfielder released an open letter confirming his departure and to thank the Hammers and their fans.

The long-awaited statement by Arsenal announcing Rice's arrival at the Emirates stadium was made today, and the 24-year-old would wear his favoured No. 41 shirt for the Gunners.

Rice was randomly assigned the number at West Ham when he was promoted to the first team and stuck with the bulky digit even as he became a fixture of the starting XI.

He had previously worn the No. 4 jersey when playing for the England national team but his compatriot Ben White is the owner of that shirt at Arsenal.

 Explaining why he made the move to the Gunners, Rice told Arsenal’s website: "I've been looking at Arsenal over the last couple of seasons and the trajectory they’ve been going on. Not last season but the season before, they finished fifth but you could see the style of play Mikel was implementing.

"Last season was an outstanding season, blowing pretty much every team out of the water with the exception of Man City."

This adds to the Arsenal summer spending spree, as Declan Rice becomes the Gunners' third signing of the window after Kai Havertz arrived from Chelsea for £70m and Jurrien Timber joined from Ajax for £38.3 million, both for a combined fee in excess of £105m, the same sum which West Ham have extracted from Arsenal for Rice, meaning Arteta has spent over £200m on players so far this summer.

The former Chelsea academy player who has already trained at the London Conley gym, was introduced to his new Arsenal teammates alongside Timber on Saturday as the pair prepare to jet off London for the club's pre-season tour of the United States on Sunday.

The Gunners had began the run-up to next season with a friendly against Nurnberg on Thursday before either Timber or Rice had been unveiled. Havertz did put up uninspiring performance in that fixture which ended 1-1 draw.

Speaking on the move, Arteta told the club's website: "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. 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."

Rice will bank a reported £240,000 per-week at the Emirates Stadium, a significant increase on his current £60,000 a-week deal which was set to run out next summer.

The Europa Conference League winner will also play in the Champions League for the first time in his career after the Gunners finished second in the Premier League last season.

Rice is expected to start in the defensive midfield role at Arsenal, which casts doubt over the future of Thomas Partey. 

The Ghanaian international is weighing up a big-money move to Saudi Arabia so he could follow Granit Xhaka through the exit door this summer. Defender Rob Holding has also been the subject of a bid from Besiktas, but Arsenal have rejected the offer

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