Rice has been Arsenal’s top target this summer and the club have been laying down the groundwork for his signature for several months.
But there is now real fear of Arsenal missing out on the West Ham captain due to persistent interest from German champions Bayern Munich.
Manchester United are also believed to be looking to get their hands on the West Ham midfielder in the next transfer window.
The former striker insisted that Arsenal cannot afford to cut corners in midfield and must bring in players who are experienced in playing in the Premier League.
Agbonlahor stressed that Arsenal must get Rice at all costs and not allow a club such as Manchester United to sign him.
The former Premier League star said on talkSPORT: “If [Mikel] Arteta gets the money and the players he wants then I feel Arsenal will be back up there.
“If they miss out on Declan Rice or [Moises] Caicedo, then there is a problem.
“You can’t corners now in midfield. You can’t be going for players that aren’t Premier League-experienced for me in that Arsenal midfield.
“Declan Rice is a must.
“I don’t care what Man United offer, I don’t care anyone else offers – offer more.
“Don’t miss out on Declan Rice.”
Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel was recently in London to hold talks with Rice and his father.