West Ham announce Declan Rice transfer exit – but make major Arsenal refusal
West Ham United have confirmed that club captain Declan Rice is leaving the club in a British record transfer deal, with the England midfielder set to join Arsenal in a £105million move
West Ham United have confirmed that Declan Rice’s departure in a club statement – but REFUSED to name Arsenal.
The Hammers have announced that club-captain Rice is leaving the London Stadium in a British record transfer, understood to be worth £105million. But in announcing that an agreement has been reached for Rice’s exit, the Irons did not make a single mention of the Gunners.
It comes after weeks of haggling and back-and-forth between the two clubs over payment structures for Rice’s record-breaking deal. West Ham are unhappy at what they have perceived as Arsenal’s attempts to effectively get Rice through the door now and then attempts to renegotiate to pay as much as possible at a later date.
But Hammers bosses have had little room to manoeuvre, with the England midfielder having been insistent that he only wanted to move to the Emirates Stadium, a decision which saw Manchester City pull out of the race for his signature.
Arsenal are yet to confirm Rice’s arrival and the 548-word statement – featuring words from both co-chairman David Sullivan and manager David Moyes – completely undercuts the Gunners plans to make a grandiose announcement of their marquee summer signing.
In a statement, Hammers’ joint-chairman David Sullivan said: “I am sorry to see Declan leave us, but I believe that everyone at West Ham United should be very proud of the part we have played in his journey from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath to becoming the most valuable young player in English football.
“I would like to make it clear to our supporters that we did not want to sell Declan. We wanted to build our team around him and made a series of improved, long-term contract offers to secure his future. However, once Declan made it clear that he wished to move on and seek a new challenge, the Club felt it would not be right to stand in his way, acting in the best interests of West Ham United.
“He leaves with the sincere thanks, respect and love of everyone here, having earned his place in history alongside the great Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds as the only players to have captained West Ham United to a major trophy. More than that, he has always given absolutely everything for the football club throughout his time with usDeclan will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Hammers fans and everyone here at the Club. We wish him well for the future and he will always be an inspiration and an example to any young player coming through our Academy.”
David Moyes added: “I’d like to personally thank Declan for everything he has done during his time at West Ham United. Obviously it is sad when we say goodbye to someone who has been with us for so long but we must now look forward.
“West Ham United is a huge Club and, as history shows, no player is ever bigger than the Club. Our entire focus now is on building upon the success we enjoyed last season, adding to our talented UEFA Europa Conference League title winning squad as we enter our third consecutive season in Europe, and continuing to develop the best young talent through our successful Academy.”
In a personal statement penned to supporters, Rice has paid tribute to the club and thanked fans for their support during his time at the club.
“To have followed Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds, becoming only the third captain in the Club’s history to lift a major trophy, is something that means so much to me,” said Rice. “It was the culmination of a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment – not only from the players, but from everyone connected to the club. I was genuinely lost for words when the final whistle blew. It was such an emotional release, having built up over so many years.”
He continued: “My last thank-you must go to you, the supporters. The loyal, passionate, devoted, at times hilarious, and always honest Hammers, who are massive everywhere you
“You have taken me into your hearts as one of your own from day one. Even when it was just a handful of fans at the Under-18 or Under-23 games, I felt that love, and it has just grown stronger as the years have passed. Playing in front of you has been an honour, we have had such great times together, and you all mean so much to me.
“I want you to know how tough a decision it has been for me to leave an environment that I have loved and cherished so much. Ultimately, though, it has only ever been about my ambition to play at the very highest level of the game.”