Arsenal Transfer News Roundup: Gunners remain interested in Facundo Torres; club backed to sign Declan Rice, and more - March 3, 2023

Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has set his sights on the Premier League.

Arsenal are leading the Premier League title race after 25 games. Mikel Arteta's team next face Bournemouth at the Emirates on Saturday (March 4).

Meanwhile, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has said that the Gunners remain interested in Facundo Torres. Elsewhere, journalist Pete O'Rourke has backed the north London side to go out all guns blazing for Declan Rice.

On that note, here's a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on March 3, 2023:

Arsenal remain interested in Facundo Torres

Facundo Torres has admirers at the Emirates.
Facundo Torres has admirers at the Emirates.

Arsenal have retained their interest in Facundo Torres, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Uruguayan winger has been heavily linked with the Gunners for a while and recently signed a new contract with Orlando City.

In his column for Caught Offside, Romano said that the Gunners haven't spoken to the MLS club about the player yet.

"Arsenal have never spoken to Orlando about Facundo Torres, never made any contact or bid. They just followed the player as they do with many players around the world. But it was never a concrete negotiation in January or before, and now he’s signed a new contract with the MLS side. I’m sure many clubs will keep an eye on his development, including Arsenal, as he’s a great talent," wrote Romano.

Torres will reportedly have a $30 million release clause in his contract.

Gunners backed to sign Declan Rice

Declan Rice is wanted at the Emirates.
Declan Rice is wanted at the Emirates.

Pete O'Rourke reckons Arsenal would leave no stone unturned to sign Declan Rice this summer.

The English midfielder is expected to leave West Ham United in the summer after stalling contract talks. With the 24-year-old's deal with the Hammers expiring in less than 18 months, the Gunners have made him a priority target this year.

Speaking to Give Me Sport, though, O'Rourke said that the north London side could balk at the Hammer's valuation of the player.

"I think definitely Arsenal will be going all in for him. It all depends on the valuation that West Ham place on Declan Rice’s head," said O'Rourke.

He added:

“Obviously, Arsenal would love to sign Rice, but there's a number of clubs who'd love to sign Rice in the summer, but West Ham are pretty steadfast in their desire to get top dollar for him. So, if it gets out of hand, maybe Arsenal might find themselves priced out of it."

Rice has registered 31 appearances for West Ham this season, recording two goals and three assists.

Nuno Tavares could extend Marseille stay, says Jonathan Johnson

Nuno Tavares has caught the eye in Ligue 1.
Nuno Tavares has caught the eye in Ligue 1.

Journalist Jonathan Johnson believes Nuno Tavares could extend his loan stay at Marseille. The Portuguese full-back joined the Ligue 1 side on a temporary move last summer from Arsenal and has enjoyed a decent spell.

In his column for Caught Offside, Johnson tipped Tavares to start the pre-season at the Emirates and leave on loan again.

"In terms of his development, Marseille, at this moment in time, look good for European qualification and are playing good football, so there might be a case for extending that loan for another year, though we know that Arsenal, under Mikel Arteta, like to get a close look at a player after they’ve been out on loan," wrote Johnson.

He continued:

"So it could be that he’ll start pre-season with Arsenal, but then maybe go somewhere else. There’s obviously a talented player there, but I’m not sure making him someone who has to have defensive responsibilities is the best way to get the best out of him when he’s got so much to offer going forward."

Johnson added that playing in an attacking setup at Marseille might be affecting the player's defensive traits.

“Igor Tudor’s tactics with Marseille have been very direct, almost too direct at times, so it’s quite different from how Arsenal play. There’s a lot of emphasis on attacking and getting the ball out to the wings and less on controlling games in the middle of the park," wrote Johnson.

He concluded:

"Naturally, that means Tavares has got a lot of attention, seen a lot of the ball and got into a lot of good positions. Perhaps if he were to spend time in a different tactical set-up, we could see a different side of his game, and he could show that he’s got a bit more to offer defensively.”

The 23-year-old has amassed six goals in 29 games for Les Phoceens this season across competitions.

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Edited by Bhargav
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