Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified West Ham United’s Declan Rice as a top target for next season, but Old Trafford chiefs reportedly have their doubts
Manchester United’s transfer team are reportedly skeptical about signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice next summer, according to inside sources.
Reports claim Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified the England Euro 2020 star as one of his top targets for next season.
The Hammers allegedly value the 22-year-old, who has three years left on his contract, in the range of £80million and £100m.
However, ESPN now claims United chiefs may be considering other options, with members of the club’s transfer team unconvinced by his abilities in conjunction with his hefty price-tag.
The report also suggests they do not feel West Ham have valued the midfielder reasonably, and that they could find a cheaper and perhaps more effective solution elsewhere.
Solskjaer remains an admirer of the England international, but the Old Trafford transfer chiefs are encouraging the Norwegian boss to keep an open mind to other players.
United are reportedly trying to assess whether Rice can accommodate and enhance the qualities of current defensive midfielder Scott McTominay, who perhaps could be argued as a similar player to the Englishman.
England manager Gareth Southgate started Rice in every single one of the Three Lions’ matches at Euro 2020, which saw them reach their first final in 55 years.
Rice has also begun the new season in commanding fashion, helping David Moyes’ side to four wins in their first six matches in all competitions.
One of these included a cracking goal against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb, as the Hammers sealed an impressive 2-0 away victory in their first group match of the Europa League.
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United were also able to get a good look at Rice in their dramatic 2-1 away victory against the Hammers at the London Stadium.
Rice partnered Tomas Soucek in the midfield for the full 90 minutes and looked to have the opportunity to seal a last-minute draw for the Hammers from the penalty spot, until Mark Noble was instead chosen to take the last minute spot-kick.
The defensive midfielder also regularly captains the side with current skipper Mark Noble no longer a first-choice starter for Moyes.
Rice’s qualities are in his defensive awareness as well as his ability to drive the team forward into the box with his runs with the ball.
But United chiefs reportedly fear he is not quick enough with or without the ball, and he will likely be considered as one of many options, rather than the assured number one choice.
The Reds’ No.1 transfer strategies were to add extra strength and firepower to the central defence and right flank this season.
They quickly solidified these troublesome areas by signing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively.
The £114m spent on the two players looked to have pulled across the curtain on United’s transfer activities, until Cristiano Ronaldo sealed an incredible return to the club.
Central midfield appears to be the new priority area for next season, and the club is also hoping to try and tempt Solskjaer’s country man Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.
The mercurial striker who has already hammered home 11 goals and four assists in just eight appearances in all competitions, will be available for £68m thanks to a release clause which will be invoked next season.