‘Yeah I fucking was!’: Ian Wright hilariously reveals he DID ‘touch’ Declan Rice during a visit to England camp, joking that he ‘literally begged’ him to join ahead of the Gunners’ £105m move
Ian Wright has revealed that he tried to convince Declan Rice to join Arsenal during a visit to England’s St George’s Park in March.
After months of speculation, Rice completed a British record £105m move to the Gunners from West Ham on Saturday.
Former Gunners forward Wright says he had a conversation with the 24-year-old last season and told him to imagine what it would be like to play alongside Bukayo Saka at club level.
‘Everyone said that when I went to the England team, I was rooting for him. Yes, IF*****g was. I was literally begging him!’ Wright said speaking at Wighty’s House.
“I don’t work for the club, I’m an Arsenal fan. I said “Look at you and Saka, how great you look together”, it’s just emotion.
Declan Rice has completed his long-awaited British record £105m transfer to Arsenal
Ian Wright (right) has revealed that he tried to convince Rice to join the Gunners in March.
Rice comes to Arsenal after a nine-year spell in east London, where he made history as the third West Ham captain to lift a major trophy with the Europa Conference League victory last season.
The England international penned an emotional open letter to Hammers fans after his departure was confirmed.
When asked by the official website of the club why he had chosen to join Arsenal, there was also interest from Manchester City and Bayern Munich, he said: “I’ve been looking at Arsenal over the last two seasons and the trajectory they’ve had.
‘Last season was an outstanding season, blowing almost every team out of the water with the exception of Man City.
“With Mikel and how he works, the team, how young everyone is, the energy at the club and also the challenge of taking Arsenal to where they belong, that means a lot to me.” I know the fans really want that.
Rice has been Arsenal’s No. 1 target all summer as they look to reshape their midfield unit.
It looks like Rice will join Captain Martin Odegaard (L) and Kai Havertz in a three-man midfield
“For me, as a player, I have come here wanting to be more successful and spend my best years at this great club.”
With the departure of Granit Xhaka, a new anchor midfielder was a priority for Arteta and Arsenal this summer.
The midfield area was part of the squad that Arteta has been eager to rebuild, with Kai Havertz joining from Chelsea to form a three-man group with Martin Odegaard and Rice.
Rice, who has become a regular in the England setup in recent years, will join his new teammates on the US tour on Sunday.