Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is angry that his plans of signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice are being foiled by the lengthy transfer saga, according to The Sun.
The Red Devils boss is keen on landing two midfielders in the current transfer window. Chelsea’s Mason Mount is one of the targets, and it appears Rice could be the other.
The Sun now report that Ten Hag has identified the 24-year-old as the perfect addition to his squad, and has been desperate to make a transfer offer to the Hammers.
However, this has not been possible amid the protracted takeover saga, leaving Premier League rivals Arsenal in ‘pole position’ to land the highly-rated midfielder.
The Gunners have failed with an opening £90 million bid for Rice, but are set to make a fresh move. Manchester City are also preparing to enter the pursuit.
Meanwhile, The Sun believe Sheikh Jassim is the favourite to takeover United, but the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ test could take around 10 days.
Ten Hag’s hands are tied at the moment with no significant funds to spend on key targets.
Ten Hag needs more clarity over transfer budget
Rice has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. He has excelled with his quality distribution and excellent ball control from the centre of the park.
He could be Ten Hag’s perfect alternative to Frenkie de Jong, who does not plan to leave Barcelona.
However, United are yet to make an approach for the England international amid the uncertainty over the budget available for the manager to spend in the transfer window.
A recent report claimed that Ten Hag has only £120m before player sales. In our view, this could be a reason behind the club’s reluctance to enter talks for Rice.
The Hammers are currently looking for a package of more than £100m for their prized asset, and United are currently not in a position to commit to such an outlay.
The scenario could change with a takeover. Sheikh Jassim could guarantee the funds up front which United could recoup later on in the window with outgoings.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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