Manchester United are interested in signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice, making him their first-choice target for the position.
According to Manchester Evening News, the club are keen on his signature despite not signing a midfielder this summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are understood to have already discussed the necessary steps needed to take to sign Rice.
The bulk of the transfer budget was spent on Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, shifting a midfielder to next summer’s list.
As per the MEN, Rice is contracted until 2024 but isn’t expected to sign a new deal, meaning a move next year is possible.
The Red Devils’ felt there was no ‘attainable’ defensive-midfielder on the market and so no serious moves were made for one.
West Ham are believed to value the Englishman at around £80 million but might be willing to reduce his price next summer.
Rice played a pivotal part in the Hammers’ campaign last season, propelling them towards European qualification.
The 22-year-old, however, is said to be keen on playing Champions League football.
United lack an out and out ‘number six’ who can shield the back four and control the midfield from deeper positions.
In Fred and Scott Mctominay, the Red Devils have two box-to-box midfielders played out of position. Solskjaer is hence forced to play a pivot, compromising the side’s attacking output.
On the other hand, Nemanja Matic is nowhere near the player he was when he joined the club. At 33, the Serbian does not have the agility and speed to play that role
Rice would be the ideal defensive midfielder for Man United. The 22-year-old is tenacious, strong and dominant in the air. Elegant on the ball, he has the passing range to spray line-breaking passes from deep.
Moreover, his energy and speed allow him to cover huge distances throughout the game.
At 22 years of age, Rice has established himself as one of the Premier League’s best holding midfielders and could be a mainstay in this United team.