Arsenal must do all they can to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice this summer.

To make a good team a Premier League title-winning team, you need level-raising signings. Manchester City brought in Kyle Walker and Ederson in the summer of 2017, Liverpool signed Fabinho and Alisson 12 months later and the task for Arsenal this summer is to recruit players of that ilk so they can kick on next season and finally end their 19-year wait for a league title.

Rice fits the bill for the Gunners and understands that the 24-year-old is Mikel Arteta's priority target ahead of the summer transfer window. Recent reports have suggested that the Hammers are demanding in excess of £100million for their captain whilst Arteta's side are said to be preparing an opening offer of £92million, £3million less than the package put together by Bayern Munich.

READ MORE: Declan Rice to Arsenal transfer: Bayern prepare £95m bid, Arsenal blow, Tuchel phonecall

In recent times, the north London outfit have shown that they are not afraid to walk away from deals they deem too expensive. Moises Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk were their number one targets during the January window but they were unwilling to pay over the odds for either, settling for Jorginho and Leandro Trossard instead.

Sometimes that is the smart thing to do. Walk away from a deal if the asking price is excessive. But Rice could be the difference between Arsenal being a top-four side and a title-challenging team next season, so now is the time to get a deal done - even if the fee may seem slightly inflated.

The Gunners have an ace up their sleeves too. According to Sky Sports, West Ham want £120million if they are to part ways with their skipper this summer, although they could be willing to lower their asking price by £20million if they were to receive a player in exchange.

David Moyes' side hold an interest in Arsenal's out-of-favour left-back Nuno Tavares, according to Portuguese outlet Record, which presents Arteta and co. the perfect opportunity to lower the Hammers demands slightly whilst also getting a player that does not seem to be in their plans off their books.

Tavares spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan with Ligue 1 outfit Marseille after it became clear that he would not be given much game time under Arteta's stewardship. But a move to east London could help revitalise his career, with West Ham certainly in need of a young left-back considering first-choice Aaron Cresswell is now 33-years-old.


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