Home » West Ham midfielder Declan Rice not in Manchester United’s transfer plans

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice not in Manchester United’s transfer plans

by Seth Dooley

Declan Rice is not currently in Manchester United’s transfer shortlist as the club prepares to enter the summer transfer window.

Rice, 24, has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for several seasons, but a genuine bid or concrete steps towards a transfer have failed to materialise.

This summer presents the ideal opportunity for a club to poach the England international from West Ham United. The midfielder has one year remaining on his contract, leading the club’s hierarchy to resign itself to losing him.

The price tag slapped on to Rice, however, is mooted to be £100million.

This excessive figure will dissuade United from reigniting their interest — the club will be strained by financial restrictions (FFP and Glazers/ownership limbo ) and are seeking cheaper alternatives to make the most out of their spending this summer.

The Athletic have confirmed that, while the club admire the No. 8, any serious pursuit is unlikely to happen anytime soon; a move was considered in the past, but behind-the-scenes conflict and indecision led to idleness.

“Manchester United have long tracked Rice but, in previous windows, their recruitment staff failed to come to a consensus about a move — especially given West Ham’s stance that he was not for sale.”

Indeed, chief executive Richard Arnold instructed the recruitment department to revolve its transfer strategy around new manager Ten Hag last summer, most likely to avoid any messy internal dilemmas like Rice had caused in the past.

The report continued: “They (United) are keeping abreast of Rice’s situation going into the summer, but the fee being quoted and manager Erik ten Hag’s priorities lying elsewhere mean a turnaround is required for a formal approach from Old Trafford to follow.”

It is interesting to note the slight dodge from using the notorious “keeping tabs” line.

United seem to be closing in on a deal for Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, with recent reports suggesting that a fee in-and-around £50m is close to being agreed.

Adrien Rabiot is also linked with the club. The France international has left Juventus due to his contract expiring, but will seek a hefty salary as a result.

This was the sticking point last summer when John Murtough’s negotiations with Rabiot’s agent, his mother Veronique, broke down due to excessive financial demands.

It is unlikely that United would pursue a nine-figure signing such as Rice to bolster their midfield with Mount’s pricey transfer edging closer and cheaper options in defensive midfield being weighed up by the club.

The report also suggests that Arsenal would be the most promising destination for Rice, with Thomas Partey’s position at the club becoming questionable due to his loss of form at the tail end of the season.

If The Athletic find Rice to be a viable replacement for Partey, there would appear to be a lack of critical judgement.

Rice has never played as a sole No. 6, instead thriving in the No. 8 role, developing into a top-quality box-to-box midfielder. He has only featured in a double-pivot for both West Ham and England when positioned as a defensive midfielder.

Media in Germany argue that Bayern Munich is Rice’s next home. The German club, who use the double-pivot system currently with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, are in the market for a fresh midfield.

Thomas Tuchel is said to be a keen admirer of Rice’s qualities, but has to wait for a new board to be established before pressing forward for Rice’s signature.

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