West Ham United can confirm that an agreement for Declan Rice to depart the club for a British record fee has been struck with Arsenal Fc.
The 24-year-old England midfielder leaves the Hammers after 245 senior games, the last of which ended in glory last month as he raised the UEFA Europa Conference League trophy in Prague, ending our 43-year wait for a major silver wear.
The Kingston-born midfielder has established himself as one of the greatest young talents in world football, having progressed from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath, where he began his Claret and Blue journey as a 14-year-old in 2013 before making his first-team debut against Burnley in May 2017.
Joint-Chair 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 us.
“Declan 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.
”Manager 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.
Credit: West Ham United