Manchester United are reportedly still keen on Declan Rice despite opting against signing a midfielder this summer, with the West Ham captain on a shortlist of targets for 2022
Manchester United are reportedly still keen on Declan Rice despite opting against a move for the West Ham midfielder this summer.
The return of Cristiano Ronaldo capped what appears to have been a pretty successful summer transfer window for United, who also signed Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Tom Heaton.
But fans were left with a lingering disappointment that the club didn’t bring in a holding midfielder, despite having been linked with the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Ruben Neves and Rice.
That disappointment turned to frustration as Fred’s limitations in the role were exposed by a Wolves side inspired by the electric Adama Traore – before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were bailed out by Mason Greenwood’s decisive strike.
Meanwhile, Rice is growing in authority as he continues to be a key player for both West Ham and England – helping David Moyes’ side to an unbeaten start to the season while the Three Lions have maintained their 100% record in World Cup qualifying following their Euro 2020 heroics.
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And he remains on United’s radar, with the the 22-year-old on a shortlist of midfield targets for next summer, according to ESPN.
The report says Solskjaer and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward were aware of the feeling among fans that a new midfielder was needed, but opted against adding to the engine room.
Sancho and Varane fulfilled the priority targets of bringing in a winger and a centre-back, while it is claimed that the sensational deal for Ronaldo was funded from outside the transfer kitty.
And the publication says a striker and a midfielder are the primary positions to be filled next summer – with Rice on a shortlist that will be further narrowed down over the course of this season.
The England international is also a target for Chelsea, where he began his career as a youth player, but potential suitors have so far been out off by West Ham’s valuation of more than £80million.
However, it was reported by 90min last week that Rice expects this season to be his last at the London Stadium.
The news follows a report from The Telegraph earlier this summer that the midfielder had turned down two offers of a new contract.
And former United defender Paul Parker believes Rice would be perfect for his old club.
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“The way he plays, the authority he plays with, he nicks balls off people’s toes, he very rarely gets booked,” Parker told the Manchester Evening News back in July.
“Rice can do the job sitting in front and breaking up play. What he can do as well is get forward into the box, he can change the game by opening his legs up and running with the ball.
“I’ve seen him play a lot at West Ham and I’ve seen enough of him to know that he can do the job.”