Arsenal and West Ham reach final agreement on £105m Declan Rice deal


Arsenal have finalised terms over their £105m deal for West Ham’s Declan Rice, with the guaranteed portion of the fee expected to be paid in three instalments over 24 months.

West Ham are selling the midfielder for £100m plus £5m in add-ons and the transfer is on the verge of completion. Arsenal wanted to spread the cost of the guaranteed payment over five years but have been forced to bring the number of instalments down in order to secure Mikel Arteta’s top summer target. Rice is expected to undergo a medical and join Arsenal this week.

Keeping the payment structure on a tight schedule will help West Ham’s financial position. They were angling for the £100m to be paid by the end of 2024 but it is understood that a compromise has been reached on the summer of 2025 as the date for the final payment. West Ham were placed on Uefa’s financial fair play watchlist last September.

Manchester City had targeted 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. They are close to completing a deal for the Ajax defender Jurriën Timber for £40m and are expected to make space for Rice in 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 could bring in another midfielder and are interested in Roméo Lavia, who is valued by Southampton at £45m. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are also interested in the 19-year-old.

West Ham will look to replace Rice with two midfielders and are interested in Fulham’s João Palhinha, Juventus’s Denis Zakaria, Everton’s Amadou Onana and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse. They could revive their interest in Edson Álvarez if the Ajax midfielder’s move to Borussia Dortmund breaks down.