Manchester United have an excellent chance of signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice next summer amid his desire to play Champions League football.
The England international has spent his entire career with the Hammers but could pursue a bigger challenge next season as he looks to win ‘big trophies‘ in the prime of his career.
Chelsea are obviously considered as favourites to sign him as he was in their youth academy, but in our opinion, United have an equally good chance of landing the 23-year-old.
The Red Devils brought in Casemiro and Christian Eriksen to bolster the midfield in the summer and the duo are now regarded as undisputed starters under manager Erik ten Hag.
The next part of the rebuild could be the purchase of a young midfielder in his prime and we believe Rice would fit in perfectly at the club with his superb defensive and passing attributes.
Frenkie de Jong alternative
Ten Hag was keen on landing Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona last summer and there continues to remain an interest. However, the Dutchman is clear that he does not want to leave Camp Nou.
In our view, Rice could be an ideal alternative to De Jong. He has a superb passing accuracy of over 90 per cent this term while averaging a combined tally of four tackles/interceptions per game.
The midfielder can also make marauding runs from the centre of the park while providing key passes. If United were to sign him, he could be rotated with Christian Eriksen based on opponents.
Ideally, Eriksen could be phased out in a few years’ time for Rice to make the position his own.
Price tag and possible departure
It was recently reported that a £70 million fee could be sufficient to convince the Hammers to sell Rice. If United succeed in doing so, Fred could be shown the exit door on a free transfer.
Casemiro, Eriksen and McTominay have been consistent this term under Ten Hag and Fred has probably been the odd-man out. The Brazilian could leave when his deal expires in June 2023.
Meanwhile, United are currently three points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand, and we firmly believe that the club will qualify for next season’s Champions League.
This could be a key factor in signing a really ambitious Rice ahead of Chelsea, who have much more work to do to make the top four. They are a further five points behind United at the moment.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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