• Rice says playing at ‘very highest level’ behind decision
  • Arsenal deal will make midfielder most expensive British player

Declan Rice’s ambition to play “at the very highest level” was behind his “tough” decision to leave West Ham in a club record deal worth £105m. The 24-year-old’s departure after a decade – in a transfer that makes him the most expensive British player in history – was confirmed by the Hammers before his imminent move to Arsenal.

Rice will be Arsenal’s third summer signing, after the forward Kai Havertz was bought from Chelsea for a fee rising to £65m the defender Jurriën Timber came from Ajax in a deal that could reach €45m (£38.6m) with add-ons.

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