Manchester United are freshly being linked with an approach for West Ham and England defensive midfielder Declan Rice, a player the Red Devils have already been talked about in connection with on and off for months.
Rice has been valued by West Ham at anything between £70m and £100m depending on differing reports and has also been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City.
In more recent months, it has been Chelsea that have been most heavily linked with the 21-year-old, who actually started his career in the club’s youth ranks and remains close friends with current Stamford Bridge star Mason Mount.
It has been suggested that Chelsea would make their move for Rice if N’Golo Kante is to move on, with 90min revealing the Blues are willing to let the Frenchman go for the right offer.
With Spurs forced to prioritise loan and free agent signings owing to financial cautiousness, they may have to drop their interest. Arsenal have an even more publicised limited budget.
Midfield is thought to be increasingly less of a priority for Manchester United given that Paul Pogba is now expected to stay and Nemanja Matic has signed a new three-year contract. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also has Fred and Scott McTominay to call upon, plus Bruno Fernandes further upfield.
Right winger Jadon Sancho remains the club’s primary transfer target this summer.
But Football Insider now claims that United have ‘reignited their pursuit’ of Rice following ‘extensive’ analysis of potential targets while the 2019/20 season was on hold due to the coronavirus crisis.
What’s more, the report alleges that legendary former Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson is an admirer of the Hammers talent. Whether that could actually serve to influence any real world recruitment decision remains unclear, but the claim is United will now battle Chelsea for the deal.
Transfer budgets affected by the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis will limit what clubs all over Europe can spend on new players this summer.
United are thought to have put a substantial amount of money aside for Sancho and could even seek to spread some of the cost over several years. But the rest of the summer budget will likely have to be topped up by player sales and there are no guarantees buyers will come forward.
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