Declan Rice joins Arsenal from West Ham for a record fee

Arsenal has completed the signing of West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice in the biggest deal of the European summer transfer window so far.

It has been widely reported in the British media that Rice moves to Arsenal for a £105 million ($137.45 million) fee, which would make it a record transfer between two British clubs.

Still just 24, Rice has established himself as one of Europe’s most promising holding midfielders and is already a key member of the England national team, playing in every game for Gareth Southgate’s team at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

Rice has shown some attacking flare, too, scoring a stunning solo effort against Gent in the Conference League by running half the length of the pitch before slotting the ball home.

It’s a significant coup for big-spending Arsenal, with Rice joining on a long-term deal and following Kai Havertz’s arrival from Chelsea.

Karim Benzema – Real Madrid to Al-Ittihad

In the first major coup of the summer for the Saudi Pro League, Karim Benzema has agreed to join Al-Ittihad once his contract expires with Real Madrid. The deal is estimated to be worth more than 100 million euros ($106.89 million), according to media reports.

Now 35, Benzema has been one of the world’s best strikers for more than a decade, racking up an eye-watering number of trophies in his 14 seasons with Real Madrid, including five Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles.

His performances during the 2021/22 season – when Real won the Champions League and La Liga double – saw the Frenchman collect the Ballon d’Or award for the best player in the men’s game last year.

Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid

Perhaps the most sought-after player in world soccer this summer, Jude Bellingham is taking his considerable talents to Real Madrid next season after Los Blancos paid Borussia Dortmund a reported €103 million ($110.4 million) for his signature.

Still only 19, Bellingham has grown into one of soccer’s most complete midfielders since moving to Dortmund from boyhood club Birmingham City in 2020 and has also become a key figure for the English national team.

After a disappointing season, Real Madrid will be hopeful that Bellingham will be a star midfielder for years to come once the ageing Luka Modric and Toni Kroos depart.

N’Golo Kanté – Chelsea to Al-Ittihad

N’Golo Kanté, the all-action midfielder who has rightly drawn praise as one of the best midfielders of his generation, soon became another major name to move to Saudi Arabia, joining Benzema at Al-Ittihad on a free transfer following the expiration of his Chelsea contract at the end of June.

The 32-year-old midfielder has signed a contract worth around £86 million ($109.8 million) a year, according to UK media.

In his eight years in England, Kanté won two Premier League titles – the first as part of Leicester City’s improbable 5000-1 triumph – the Champions League, the FA Cup, the Europa League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup.

Above all else, it’s his almost superhuman fitness that stands out, though he did struggle with injuries last season. So incredible has Kanté’s work rate been since he first arrived in England with Leicester in 2015, he has often been described as single-handedly covering the ground of two midfielders.

Christopher Nkunku – RB Leipzig to Chelsea

Three years after arriving at RB Leipzig from Paris Saint-Germain, Chrisopher Nkunku has established himself as one of European football’s most exciting forwards.

During the 2021/2022 season, the Frenchman scored 35 goals – including seven in six Champions League games – and registered 16 assists in all competitions. Nkunku followed up with another 23 goals in the 2022/2023 campaign as Leipzig won the German Cup for the second straight season.

Chelsea has reportedly paid Leipzig £53 million ($67.7 million) for Nkunku’s services, marking another significant outlay for the club’s American owner Todd Boehly, who will be hoping the 25-year-old can provide the firepower the team so desperately needs in attack.

Kai Havertz – Chelsea to Arsenal

Arsenal has completed the signing of Chelsea forward Kai Kavertz for a reported £65 million ($83 million) as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad following the team’s capitulation in the Premier League title race.

Though the German international was unable to consistently find his best form at Chelsea, Havertz will immediately improve the Gunners’ starting XI. Many fans have expressed their surprise that a player of his quality is being sold to a direct rival, but Boehly has put together a bloated squad that desperately needs trimming.

Havertz scored the winning goal for Chelsea against Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final and Arsenal will be hoping for more of that magic as the team returns to European football’s premier competition for the first time since 2016-17.

After guiding West Ham to the Europa Conference League title, the team’s first major trophy since 1980, club captain Declan Rice is potentially on the move to Arsenal.

Still just 24, Rice has established himself as one of Europe’s most promising holding midfielders, with West Ham’s reported asking price sitting around £100 million ($127.7 millon). Rice has shown some attacking flare, too, scoring a stunning solo effort against Gent in the Conference League by running half the length of the pitch before slotting the ball home.

Rice, who was in the youth ranks at Chelsea and then West Ham, was voted Conference League player of the season. Arsenal will reportedly have to fend off interest from Manchester City and Manchester United for his signature.

Mateo Kovačić – Chelsea to Manchester City

Fresh off the back of becoming just the second English team in history to complete the Treble, Manchester City’s recruitment to bolster the squad for the defence of all three titles is already well under way.

Chelsea’s Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovačić look has become Pep Guardiola’s first major addition of the window for a reported cut-price £30 million ($38.3 million) as Chelsea continues its summer clear-out.

With club captain İlkay Gündoğan joining Barcelona on a free transfer and Bernardo Silva also weighing up his options, City will need Kovačić to hit the ground running if the club is to continue its dominance in England and Europe.

Alexis Mac Allister – Brighton to Liverpool

Alexis Mac Allister enjoyed a sensational season for Brighton in the Premier League, but it was his performances for Argentina at the World Cup that really made everyone sit up and take notice.

After Lionel Messi, it could be easily argued that Mac Allister was Argentina’s best player in Qatar, his movement and link-up play in attack a crucial factor in La Albiceleste lifting the trophy for the first time since 1986.

Liverpool reportedly paid an initial fee of £35 million ($44.6 million), which could rise to £55 million ($70 million) in add ons, with Jurgen Klopp hoping Mac Allister will fill the departing Roberto Firmino’s sizeable shoes at Anfield.

Rúben Neves – Wolverhampton Wanderers to Al Hilal

Rúben Neves may not be the biggest star to take his talents to Saudi Arabia, but his reported £47 million move to Al Hilal is notable because the midfielder is still only 26 years old. Until his transfer, it had only been players in the twilight of their careers that had moved to the SPL.

Considering Barcelona was reportedly keen to sign Neves, the deal is a significant coup for Al Hilal and the league in general, but the size of the transfer fee has raised eyebrows given the Portugal international only has a year left on his deal. No club in Europe would have paid close to that fee for a player that could leave for free next season.

Neves has been a star for Wolves since joining when the club was in the Championship, England’s second tier, and has only improved since earning promotion to the Premier League, where he has established himself as the team’s best player and captain.

İlkay Gündoğan – Manchester City to Barcelona

Manchester City’s Treble-winning captain İlkay Gündoğan has opted to turn down a contract renewal and sign for FC Barcelona on a free transfer, a move that is no doubt a serious blow to Guardiola’s plans for next season.

Gündoğan was Guardiola’s first signing as City manager and despite suffering an ACL injury just six months into his time at the club, the German international went on to play a huge role in City’s success over the years, most notably for his brilliant late season performances.

His acquisition is a huge boost to Barcelona as the team continues to improve following the club’s financial turmoil and Gündoğan’s sublime passing and technical ability will fit perfectly with Xavi’s style.

Dominik Szoboszlai – RB Leipzig to Liverpool

Liverpool has completed the signing of Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig for a reported £60 million ($76M) as Klopp continues his summer rebuild.

The versatile Hungarian gives Klopp options both in midfield and on the wing and he joins fresh off the back of scoring in RB Leipzig’s 2-0 German Cup final win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The 22-year-old, who is already captain of his country, scored six goals and contributed eight assists for Leipzig last in the Bundesliga last season.

Christian Pulisic – Chelsea to AC Milan

USA international Christian Pulisic is joining AC Milan from Chelsea for a reported €20 million ($22.4M) after four underwhelming seasons in west London.

After a promising start – Pulisic scored nine goals and registered four assists in his first Premier League season – ‘Captain America’s’ performances tailed off as a series of injuries derailed his progression.

In his final season, he managed just one goal and one assist in 24 Premier League matches as Chelsea makes a €40 million ($44.9M) loss on his transfer fee after signing him for €65 million ($72.9M) from Borussia Dortmund in 2019.

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