ARSENAL are reportedly preparing a shock move for Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo – as well as a summer swoop for Declan Rice.
The Portuguese defender was deemed to be surplus to requirements by City boss Pep Guardiola in January and farmed out to Bayern Munich on loan.
And Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is hoping to bolster his squad this summer with the acquisition of the out-of-favour wing-back.
That's according to The Daily Telegraph, who claim the north Londoners have been alerted to his potential availability by his failure to impress new Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel.
Although Arsenal are keen on Cancelo, they're concerned City won't sell him to them.
That's on account of the fact Arteta's troops have virtually taken the defending Premier League champions right down to the wire in a thrilling title race this season.
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And selling the 28-year-old to the Gunners would only serve to boost their rival's chances of winning their first league title in 20 years.
The Arsenal brass – who convinced City to sell them Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus last summer – believe the Citizens will be "reluctant" to let them snap up Portugal international Cancelo.
Should City play hardball, the Gunners will reportedly revisit a move for Valladolid's Ivan Fresneda.
The Spaniard will prove to be a much cheaper alternative to Cancelo should Valladolid be relegated from La Liga.
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Arsenal may have fears around a move for Cancelo, but the same can't be said for their pursuit of Declan Rice.
Arteta and sporting director Edu have made signing the West Ham and England midfielder their top priority this summer.
And they've even cleared the way for his arrival by allowing Granit Xhaka to leave the club.
It's claimed the Arsenal brass are working on a club-record £92million deal for the 24-year-old.
West Ham – who will also field interest from Manchester United for Rice's services in the summer – are understood to want the bulk of any fee upfront.
Despite United's interest in Rice, the Gunners are said to be "confident" of luring the in-demand midfielder across London to the Emirates.
Arsenal's bid to win their first league title in nearly 20 yearshas collapsed over the last six weeks thanks to three draws and two defeats in their last seven matches.
And Arteta issued a grovelling apology to the Emirates faithful for their poor run of form after last weekend's hammering by Brighton.
He told Sky Sports: "A week ago I was standing here feeling proud and today we have to apologise for the performance in the second half. It was not acceptable.
"Mathematically, [the title] it's still possible, but today it's impossible to think about it.
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"We need to digest the result and the performance in the second half, understand why and have a different reaction."
Arsenal will be back in action on Saturday, travelling to the City Ground to take on relegation battlers Nottingham Forest.
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