Manchester United’s incoming manager Erik ten Hag could make ‘a statement’ by signing Declan Rice this summer, according to pundit Carlton Palmer.
The Dutch tactician is expected to oversee a significant overhaul of the first-team squad during his first few months in charge following a hugely underwhelming campaign.
What is the latest news involving Rice?
Rice, who has been labelled “world-class”, currently has just over two years left to run on his current contract, although West Ham have the option to extend his stay by a further 12 months.
However, the England international has reportedly turned down a third offer of a new deal by the capital club and has recently expressed his ‘urgent’ desire to win trophies and play in the Champions League.
Previous reports have linked Rice to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea due to his outstanding displays for the Hammers, although it now appears to be a one-horse race.
According to ESPN, United ‘are likely to have a clear run’ at signing the 6 foot 1 ace as their rivals are all focussed on other targets or improving different areas of the pitch ahead of next season.
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West Ham boss David Moyes has previously insisted that his prized asset is ‘not for sale’ while insisting it would take a British-record fee to prise him away from the London Stadium.
“£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 Palmer said about Rice?
Palmer believes that Rice’s arrival at Old Trafford could elevate United up to ‘three places’ higher in the Premier League standings next term.
He told GiveMeSport: “The recruitment of the players has to be right. Has to be right. That might be why he’s stalling on a contract (Declan Rice).
“What does that say, a statement, if you bring in the likes of Declan Rice. If you bring in Rice, you’ve already taken yourself two places, three places up the league already just by that one signing.”
Would Rice be a good signing?
Rice has established himself as a pivotal player for both club and country in recent years, registering five goals and four assists in 46 appearances for West Ham this season.
As per FBref, the defensive-minded gem has also ranked in the 94th percentile for interceptions and progressive carries and the 93rd for pass competition amongst players in his position over the last year.
It’s clear, therefore, that Rice is now amongst the best holding midfielders in the world and could be a valuable addition to Ten Hag’s rebuild at United.
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