Manchester United are currently in a phase of rebuilding themselves. So far they have done very well under Ole Gunnar Solskjear. However, they are far away from challenging for the Premier League title. They still need to sign more players to help them close the gap to Manchester City. In recent years Declan Rice is one such player who has emerged as one of the best young talents in England.
This season he has made 29 Premier League appearances. He averages two interceptions per game, he is dribbled once per game and he makes 1.8 tackles per game. Rice is still only 22-years-old but he has shown maturity beyond his years. This is also a reason why English clubs are interested in him. However, West Ham will also try hard to keep him at the London stadium.
Rice’s inquiry about Manchester United
According to Manchester Evening News, the Englishman has inquired about life at the club. He was only on international duty along with some of the Red Devils players. Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Dean Henderson, and Marcus Rashford were present with him in the camp. Though Rashford had to, later on, withdraw from the squad because of his injury.
The report has stated that Rice has shown interest in joining Manchester United. That’s why he had particularly asked the likes of Maguire and Shaw about the club. Harry Maguire has been at the club for the past two years, while Shaw has been at the club for the past seven years.
Manchester United tradition
It has been a tradition of the Red Devils to sign an English player after a major tournament. Though they haven’t done this in recent years. Rio Ferdinand joined the club in the year 2002 after the World Cup. Wayne Rooney arrived in the year 2004 after the Euros. While Micheal Carrick joined the Red Devils after the 2006 World Cup.
All three of them had very successful careers at Old Trafford. Not only this all three of them were captains of the club for some time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would also be hopeful that Rice can also have a career like these players at Manchester United.
The Jesse Lingard angle and the possibility of the move
The Athletic had reported that the Red Devils were keen to offer Jesse Lingard in a swap deal for Declan Rice. Lingard joined the Hammers on loan in the January transfer window. Since then he has been in phenomenal form scoring eight goals and further providing three assists. The Englishman is one of the big reasons behind West Ham’s push for a top-four finish.
However, The Sun has reported that West Ham have rejected the offer. They are in no mood to sell their vice-captain this summer. However, the Hammers would still want to sign Lingard at London stadium. But they are not willing to discuss any move about the Englishman if the name of Rice appears on the negotiation table.
West Ham’s evaluation of Dice is somewhere around $100 million. Even in the pre-pandemic time, this would have been too much money for him. Though Manchester United have a reputation of overpaying for players this would have been too much even for them. Thus it would have made no sense for the Red Devis to spend so much money on him.
Signing someone like Rice could help Manchester United to get the best out of Fernandes and Pogba. Both of them are more attack-minded players. But at Old Trafford, there is no player to do the defensive duty. Also, there is no player who can drop deep to link the midfield from the defence. Thus they need someone who can drop deep and provide defensive cover for Fernandes and Pogba.
However, it is possible that they might not be able to sign the Englishman. Dennis Zakaria of Borussia Mönchengladbach can be a good alternative. He can drop deep and link up defence and midfield. At the same time, he can provide the defensive cover as well.
12th Man Opinion
For Manchester United fans watching Rice in a red shirt would be a great pleasure. However, they also don’t want their team to overpay for the Englishman. Currently, their team needs another centre-back, striker and a winger. There have good midfielders but Rice would be a great defensive midfielder for the club.