Manchester United ready to break club record to sign 23-year-old enforcer

Manchester United ready to break transfer record to sign West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in the summer

According to 90min (h/t Express), Manchester United are ready to break the bank in order to secure the services of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice in the upcoming summer transfer window, whose signing is sure to break their transfer record.

Midfield is an area that needs strengthening ahead of the new season, given how porous and weak the middle of the pitch has seemed in the way we have set up this term. Stronger opposition have taken advantage of this, with our players struggling to cope with the pressure.

Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick have preferred to use a midfield pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay, but despite their physical attributes, the pair have been underwhelming when called upon to deliver when the team needs them most. While the Brazilian has shown some of his best form in England under Rangnick, it just hasn’t come on a consistent basis.

Declan Rice will not be let go by West Ham for cheap. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Declan Rice will not be let go by West Ham for cheap. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

With a defensive midfielder needed to shield the defence as well as link up the attacking lines, Rice has been identified as a potential target to fix the issues ailing the United midfield. The Englishman has arguably been their best player over the past couple of years, impressing in the top-flight.

Changes in the summer

The Red Devils are expected to see a host of changes take place in the summer, with the club also aiming to replace Solskjaer with a new permanent manager. As things stand, Ajax Amsterdam head coach Erik Ten Hag seems to be the standout candidate to bag the job.

To provide the Dutchman with a solid option in midfield, the Manchester side is said to be prepared to break their transfer record in order to convince West Ham to part ways with Rice. The midfielder will likely cost a fee in the region of £100m, eclipsing the price they paid Juventus to sign Paul Pogba.

West Ham name mammoth transfer fee for Manchester United target Declan Rice.
West Ham name mammoth transfer fee for Manchester United target Declan Rice.

There will be doubts amongst the fans about paying such a massive fee for Rice, given how the team have fared with Pogba since they signed him in 2016. The Frenchman has been largely disappointing since his return to the club, unable to replicate the form he showed in Italy.

The situation with Pogba is even more frustrating given how well he plays for France when he is on national duty. He looks a completely different player for Les Bleus, while his performances for his club are lacklustre at times.

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The key difference with spending that kind of cash on Rice is that the 23-year-old is already established in the Premier League. Unlike Pogba, who hardly got a sniff in England with the senior team before he moved to Italy, the West Ham man has been a standout player for the Hammers ever since he made his senior bow for the London club.

Not just in the top-flight, Rice has proven that he is capable of replicating his form while playing for England as well on the continental stage, with the midfielder a key player for them during their current Europa League run. Given these reasons, perhaps the fee that United will need to cough up to West Ham may be well worth the money for the player that they are getting in return.