West Ham are set to sign Declan Rice’s contracts to become an Arsenal player.
The Hammers are waiting for Arsenal’s lawyers to approve the final wording of the deal and once this is done they will sign off and Rice will complete her move to north London.
Arsenal are hoping to complete the signing of Rice before the team flies to the United States for its pre-season tour on Sunday.
The deal for the midfielder will cost a club record fee of £105m, broken down into a £100m upfront payment with £5m in add-ons.
The deal will eclipse Arsenal’s previous record purchase, which is currently Nicolas Pepe from Lille for £72m in 2019.
Rice’s signing will be just below the British transfer record, which was set by Chelsea when they paid Benfica £106.8m for Enzo Fernandez in January.
Arsenal are also expected to confirm the signing of Jurrien Timber, and the club are hoping to include the defender in their squad for the friendly away to FC Nurnberg on Thursday.
Timber completed his medical ahead of his £38m transfer from Ajax and paperwork is being finalized on a long-term deal.
The Gunners will pay £34m upfront for Timber, with the remainder of the fee to be offset by performance-related add-ons.
Timber is being signed at right-back, a role that was predominantly filled by Ben White last season, but he can also play as a centre-back, and has previously attracted interest from Manchester United.
Balogun’s starting price set at £50m
With Rice and Wood Set to unite, Arsenal are now focusing on securing transfers for players who are not in Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Folarin Balogun, Nicolas Pepe, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Cedric Soares are all available.
There is strong interest in Balogun from clubs across Europe, including AC Milan, Marseille and Monaco, but there have been no official offers for the striker, who is valued at £50m by Arsenal.
Balogun, who was eligible for England but has committed his international future to the US, scored 22 goals in 39 games while on loan at French side Reims last season.
Lokonga, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Crystal Palace, has said he will have to move to get regular first-team football.
Pepe spent the 2022/23 season on loan at Nice, while Tavares was at Marseille and Cedric at Fulham.
There is also interest among European clubs in Thomas Partey, who has two years left on his contract.
Arsenal do not rule out returning to the market if they generate enough money from sales.
The club have been looking to strengthen their attacking options on the right side over the past few windows, while signing another midfielder is not ruled out should Partey leave.
What does Rice bring to Arsenal and where does he fit in…
If Arsenal needed more convincing on the merits of a move for Declan Rice, they got it just after the half-hour mark during their 2-2 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium in April.
Mikel Arteta’s side were two goals clear and seemingly sailing towards a win that would have sent them six points clear of Manchester City. But that all changed with a moment of quick thinking from a player who now hopes to make the record signing of him.
Seeing Kieran Tierney about to aim a pass for Thomas Partey deep in the Arsenal half, Rice went on a run to close out the Ghanaian, catching him just in time to steal possession, then carry the ball into the box to find the onslaught Lucas Paqueta.
The subsequent penalty, won by Paquetá and scored by Said Benrahma, diverted the momentum of the match away from Arsenal. Maybe even the one in the title race too. And it started with Rice.
That passage of the game displayed many of the qualities that make Rice so attractive to Arsenal: anticipation to spot opportunity; the speed and power to arrive and leave with the ball; the composure to prepare his partner and force the penalty.
Where is Rice’s transfer fee located?
Jude Bellingham he became the most expensive English player of all time when he moved from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid for £115m earlier this month.
The rice becomes the second most expensive in history, costing £5m more than the £100m Manchester City paid. Jack Grealish in August 2021.
It would also be the third time that an English club has paid more than £100m for a player.
Analysis: why Timber is a perfect fit for Arsenal
Nick Wright from Sky Sports:
Just 22 years old, but with nearly 200 senior caps for club and country already behind him, Timber offers exactly the mix of youth and experience Arsenal now look for in new signings.
It also provides versatility and adaptability. Timber has primarily played center back in back four for Ajax and usually operates in back three for the Netherlands. But he is just as capable of positioning himself at right-back and has the ability to slip into midfield as well.
Those qualities are crucial for Arteta, who likes his full-backs to go into central areas with possession, and there are plenty of other factors that appeal to the Arsenal boss.
Timber is considered an excellent defender, strong in the tackle and also in passing challenges, but his greatest strength lies in his passing ability. Timber is excellent on the ball and the statistics underline how important he is to Ajax in that regard.
Last season in the Eredivisie, he had more touches and passes than any other player in the division. He also ranked first in forward passing, underscoring his ability to not only recycle possession, but also to pierce through opposition lines and launch attacks.
That skill is sure to prove crucial for Arsenal, whose defenders must withstand opposition pressure and provide a staging ground for the team’s attacks. Arteta hopes to tap into Timber’s talent for that side of the game next season and beyond.
Explained: How Arsenal can afford big summer signings
Football finance expert Kieran Maguire says Arsenal’s seemingly improved willingness to spend is a “reward” for Mikel Arteta.
“Arsenal are in a very strong position when it comes to spending,” he said. Sports news from heaven.
“The reason for this is that they have managed to control their salaries.
“Arsenal’s wages are lower than in 2018. They are £150-170m less than Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City. That has given them the flexibility to go into the market and buy new players without have to worry too much.
“Plus they have the added benefits of Champions League matches, premium prices and the minimum prize pool, I would say, £50m for being a participant.
“So if you take it all together, they probably still have a little bit of leeway in terms of what they can spend in this current window.”
Asked if there has been a change in strategy at Arsenal, he added: “Yes. They had a reduction. They spent a few years fallow when they didn’t qualify for the Champions League.
“They’ve managed to get rid of high earners like Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from that roster, and that’s given them the ability to go into the market and be very competitive and try to catch up with other clubs.
“Arsenal used to be known as the Bank of England club. They have always had good financial management and I think this change in terms of spending is a reward for Mikel Arteta in terms of his ability to get them to those Champions League places. again”. , which means a lot in terms of increased revenue.”
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Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?
Keep up to date with the latest transfer news and rumors on our dedicated Transfer Center blog on Sky Sports digital platforms. You can also catch up on the ins and outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.
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