Man Utd should ‘give armband’ to ‘perfect’ £150m target at Old Trafford

Manchester United target Declan Rice could be the ‘perfect leader’ for the club going forwards, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Red Devils have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old in recent months following several outstanding displays for both club and country.

What is the latest news involving Rice?

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Rice turned down a third offer of a new contract from West Ham over the last few days and is open to a move away in the summer.

It’s claimed that the terms would have made him the best-paid player in the capital club’s history, with the England international taking home around £200,000-per-week had he signed on the dotted line.

However, Rice still has two years remaining on his existing deal, with West Ham’s hierarchy having the option to extend his stay by a further 12 months.

The defensive-minded midfielder has no intention of committing his long-term future to the east London outfit, though, and has previously outlined his ‘urgent’ desire to win silverware and play in the Champions League.

A number of clubs including United, Manchester City and Chelsea are known to be interested in Rice, but West Ham’s manager, David Moyes, has emphasised that his prized asset is ‘not for sale’.

“£150 million just now would be the minimum, but he is not for sale. What I do know is that it means there are only certain clubs that could even consider it,” Moyes claimed.

What has Jones said about Rice?

United are currently enduring a difficult season, with much criticism aimed at club-captain Harry Maguire, and Jones believes the 20-time English champions should ‘take the armband’ off the defender and ‘give it’ to Rice.

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He told GiveMeSport: “Manchester United need something, and to be honest, they need a leader as well. And Declan Rice has got the traits to be the perfect defensive midfielder for them, and the perfect leader for them.

“Take the armband off Harry Maguire, give it to Declan Rice, bring some unity and some belief and just a voice on that pitch that’s not scared of anyone.”

Would Rice be a good signing for United?

Rice has captained West Ham on numerous occasions over the last couple of campaigns, highlighting his leadership qualities, but he brings far more than just a commanding voice to the team.

As per FBref, he has completed 6.71 passes that enter the final third of the pitch per 90 minutes this season, while also pulling off 7.41 progressive carries and 2.78 interceptions.

Those figures better the totals of United pair Scott McTominay and Fred, indicating Rice could solve some of the club’s midfield woes under new manager Erik ten Hag next term.  

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