Declan Rice

Sir Keir Starmer tells the bizarre story of how Declan Rice was tricked into signing for Arsenal from West Ham in £105m deal

Sir Keir Starmer has joked that Declan Rice was tricked into joining Arsenal from West Ham United. He claims that the Englishman thought he was signing a programme, but there was a contract from the Gunners underneath. 

Starmer was talking to The Telegraph when he revealed the bizarre story. He added that Mark Noble got him and his son to meet the midfielder while he was at West Ham and got the tricky deal done. 

He was quoted as saying:

“So, when we played away at West Ham last year and Declan was still a West Ham player I took my son. Mark Noble, Mr West Ham [now the club’s sporting director], took us down to meet Declan. And so my boy had his programme open ready for signing and obviously we put the contract [for Arsenal] in underneath! Declan signed it and thought he was signing the programme, but actually he was signing for Arsenal!”

Manchester City and Bayern Munich were also interested in signing the midfielder but opted out of the race after the £105 million bid was made by Arsenal.

Declan Rice wanted Arsenal move for years

While Sir Keir Starmer has joked that he tricked Declan Rice into joining Arsenal, the midfielder revealed earlier this season that he has been eyeing the move for years. 

He told at his unveiling interview:

“I’ve been looking at Arsenal over the last couple of seasons and the trajectory they’ve been going on. Not last season but the season before, they finished fifth but you could see the style of play Mikel was implementing. Last season was an outstanding season, blowing pretty much every team out of the water with the exception of Man City.”

Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, was also delighted to have the Englishman in his squad and said:

“I’m so excited – he speaks for himself. You see how he works – you got a real insight into how he works on the Amazon documentary, how he works with his players and not only as a coach, but psychologically how good he is with players, how he improves players. He’s a massive factor in the reason why I’ve come here. I know he’s going to get the best out of me. I know I’ve got more levels to go up in my game, and I feel like he’s the manager to take me to those next levels. I’m really excited to be working with him.”

Rice has helped Arsenal challenge for the Premier League title once again this season. They are currently the table toppers, but could slip two points behind if Manchester City win their game in hand. 

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