Rice on West Ham to Arsenal move + English transfer record…”It was one of my best moments”

England international midfielder Declan Rice is leaving West Ham for Arsenal after all. West Ham were the first to announce the player’s departure.

“West Ham can confirm that Rice has agreed to leave the club for a new English player transfer record fee,” the Hammers said in a statement on the club’s official website on Friday.

While the Hammers have not commented directly on Rice’s official destination, Arsenal is expected to be his new team, as originally reported in the UK.

According to British outlet The Athletic, Arsenal decided to pay a whopping £150 million transfer fee for Rice. This allowed them to agree a deal with West Ham. Initially, Man City were also in the running to sign Rice, but they only made a £90 million offer and the Hammers ended up paying more.

Rice’s fee will make him the most expensive English player to leave the club, surpassing the £100 million record set by Jack Grealish when he moved from Aston Villa to Manchester City two years ago.

Rice has flourished at West Ham as a defensive midfielder, developing into one of the Premier League’s top midfielders. At 6-foot-2, he is known for his accurate passing and ability to compete. At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he was considered one of the best midfield combinations in the tournament 토토꽁포인트 alongside Jude Bellingham.

Born in 1999, the 24-year-old has gone on to play seven seasons and 245 games for West Ham, becoming the club’s captain despite his youthful age. In June, he scored a brace in the UEFA Europa Conference final of the 2022/23 season to give West Ham their first trophy of the 21st century.

Commenting on letting Rice go, West Ham chairman David Sullivan said: “I’m sorry to see him leave us. I want to make it clear to our supporters that we don’t want to sell him. We wanted to build a team around him and offered him a long-term contract. But he made it clear that he wanted to take on a challenge and we didn’t feel it was right to stand in his way,” he said, adding that he was forced to make the move.

Meanwhile, Rice also took to social media to offer a final word to West Ham fans. He wrote: “I can’t believe an unbelievable decade has come to an end. West Ham has been a huge part of my life, both on and off the pitch. It’s not easy to say goodbye,” he said of his departure.

“There have been some unbelievable moments, even better than winning in Prague, and I have grown so much as a person, a player and a captain. Thank you for giving me amazing memories and some of the best days of my life.”

Arsenal, meanwhile, are expected to announce Rice’s signing shortly and will begin pre-season with him on their tour of the United States.

Fans will be interested to see how the Premier League’s best defensive midfielder performs at Arsenal after leaving West Ham.

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