Arsenal and West Ham have finalized the terms of a £105m deal for Declan Rice, with Arsenal expected to pay the guaranteed portion of the fee in three installments over 24 months.
West Ham is selling the Declan Rice to Arsenal for £100m plus £5m in add-ons, and the transfer is on the verge of completion. Initially, Arsenal desired to spread the cost of the guaranteed payment over five years but circumstances have compelled them to reduce the number of installments in order to secure Mikel Arteta’s top summer target.
Manchester City had targeted Declan Rice after losing Ilkay Gündogan to Barcelona and had a £90m bid for the West Ham captain rejected last week. City decided to walk away after Arsenal, who had already seen two bids turned down, decided to go over £100m for the 24-year-old. The champions were unwilling to get into a bidding war with Arsenal and felt that West Ham’s demands, particularly around the payment structure, were too high.
Arsenal are spending heavily as they prepare for another title challenge and have already bought the Germany attacker Kai Havertz from Chelsea for a fee rising to £65m. Arsenal is close to completing a £40m deal for Ajax defender Jurriën Timber, and they anticipate creating room for Rice in the midfield by selling Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey.
Xhaka is likely to join Bayer Leverkusen while Partey has interest from Juventus and clubs in the Saudi Pro League. Arsenal could raise further funds by selling the USA striker Folarin Balogun and the Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares.
While Rice was open to joining City, Arsenal were always his favoured choice. The England international admires Arteta’s football and is believed to have agreed terms on a long-term deal already. Arteta has gone to great lengths to woo Rice and believes that his physicality and leadership will give Arsenal a better chance of ending City’s dominance of the Premier League.
Arsenal may pursue another midfielder and have expressed interest in Roméo Lavia, whom Southampton values at £45m. The 19-year-old has also attracted attention from Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United.