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Arsenal, West Ham reach agreement in principle for Declan Rice transfer

It’s just details to be sorted now.

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West Ham United v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Declan Rice is moving ever closer towards moving towards the Emirates. Arsenal and West Ham have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer and all that remains are sorting out details of the finances. Put differently, the Hammers have accepted Arsenal’s £100M + £5M offer and now the clubs will turn to the structure of the deal.

The biggest detail to be sorted is the payment schedule. Nowadays, almost all large-sum transfers are paid in installments rather than all at once. Arsenal’s offer proposed paying the guaranteed portion of the fee (the £100M) over the course of four years. There hasn’t been much reporting of how that might break down but one article suggested (or maybe guessed) it would be something like £50M this summer, £25M the next, and then the remaining £25M over the final two years.

West Ham want the money paid in two installments by the start of 2025 — £100M within the next 18 months. That’s probably not going to happen. It’s too much money, too quickly. Fortunately, the difference between the clubs on payment terms will not prove an impediment to completing the deal, per David Ornstein.

What matters is how much money hits the books and when — black in West Ham’s case, red in Arsenal’s case. It’s important for accounting purposes, but unimportant for anything else. The two clubs will sort it out and Declan Rice will be an Arsenal player.

Today is a good day.