Arsenal sign midfielder Rice from West Ham for record fee

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LONDON: Arsenal have signed England international Declan Rice on a long-term contract from West Ham United, the north London club said on Saturday.

Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed but British media reported that the fee for the midfielder was 105 million pounds ($137.45 million), making it a record transfer between two British clubs.

“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,“ Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said in a statement.

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

The 24-year-old’s transfer fee surpasses the 100 million pounds Manchester City paid Aston Villa for England midfielder Jack Grealish in 2021

Rice also became Arsenal’s most expensive signing, eclipsing the 72 million pounds they paid Lille for Nicolas Pepe in 2019, but the fee falls short of the 107 million pounds Chelsea paid to sign Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez this year.

Rice left West Ham having guided them to the Europa Conference League title and a 14th-placed finish in the Premier League.

He was named the Europa Conference League’s player of the season for his role in West Ham’s victory, which earned them their first major European trophy in over half a century and first major title since the FA Cup in 1980.

Rice’s signing will strengthen manager Mikel Arteta’s squad after the departure of Granit Xhaka, as Arsenal look to again challenge for the Premier League title and compete in the Champions League on their return to the tournament for the first time since the 2016-17 season. – Reuters

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