Manchester United have been told that Declan Rice is the “best midfielder in the world” and that he would be a clear upgrade on current Red Devil Paul Pogba.
Pogba looks set to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season when his contract comes to an end, with little sign that the Frenchman will sign a new deal.
Even before Pogba’s likely departure became apparent, United had made signing a central midfielder one of their priorities in the transfer market.
Rice has been one of their top targets to fill that role, with the Red Devils’ options in the position being exposed for a lack of quality over the course of what has been a disappointing season.
By contrast, Rice has thrived under David Moyes at West Ham, starring for the Hammers as they launched a surprise challenge to finish in the top four.
The Englishman is already considered to be one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, but former United star Teddy Sheringham believes that he is a step above even that.
“It’s going to be hard [to keep him]. I spoke to West Ham supporters and said, ‘he is the best midfielder in the world at the moment’,” Sheringham told Lordping.
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“I rate him highly. He’s got everything a central midfielder needs. He understands the game, he’s got good pace, he can control the ball, pass it, make good tackles and get forward.
“He has the stature of Steven Gerrard in midfield.”
In fact, Sheringham, who won three Premier League titles with United, believes that Rice would be a clear upgrade on Pogba if he was brought to Old Trafford.
“He’s that dominant now that even when he’s getting closed down, he’s got good pace and power about him that he can get away from midfielders,” the former striker added.
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“That’s very unusual to have that in a central midfield position.
“[Rice would be an upgrade on Pogba] Because Declan is the best midfielder in the world. Pogba is a talented boy, but leads with the wrong character.
“He doesn’t inspire people around him, he doesn’t inspire his supporters around him whereas someone like Declan does. You want to roll with him, the way he plays the game.”