Newcastle United-linked midfielder Declan Rice pens emotional farewell letter ahead of £105m Arsenal move

Declan Rice is leaving West Ham United to join Arsenal for British record £105million.
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Declan Rice has bid an emotional farewell to West Ham United ahead of his British record transfer move to Arsenal.

The England international is leaving the London Stadium after 10 years, where he made 245 senior appearances. Last season, Rice became the first Hammers captain in 43 years to lift a major trophy after winning the Europa Conference League.

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Rice is joining Premier League rivals Arsenal for £105million. The midfielder is heavily admired by Newcastle United and did feature in early summer transfer discussions, however were swiftly priced out of a move.

Arsenal are nearing a deal to sign Declan Rice from West Ham (Image: Getty Images)Arsenal are nearing a deal to sign Declan Rice from West Ham (Image: Getty Images)
Arsenal are nearing a deal to sign Declan Rice from West Ham (Image: Getty Images)

The 24-year-old is set to earn £250,000-a-week at the Emirates.

“I can’t believe an incredible 10 years has come to an end,” Rice posted on Instagram. “West Ham has been a massive part of my life on and off the pitch. Saying goodbye is never easy.

I’ve had some unbelievable highs, none higher than that night in Prague. I’ve also grown as lot as a person, a player and as a captain

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“From the very first moment I captained the side, under the guidance of Nobes, I have felt nothing other than pride & passion. As a captain, delivering that European trophy was the icing on the cake.

“My connection with the fans means everything to me and my family. You have treated us like one of your own since the day I arrived. Thank you. Everyone knows how special West Ham is as a club that goes for all managers, coaches, backroom staff and of course, my teammates.

“Thank you for some amazing memories and some of the best days of my life. Love you all Love Dec.”

“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,” joint-owner David Sullivan added.

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“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.”

Rice penned a lengthy goodbye letter on the West Ham United website. You can read it here.

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