Declan Rice: Manchester United and Chelsea target profiled
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Manchester United have two obstacles that stand in the way of a sensational move for West Ham’s Declan Rice this summer, according to reports.
The Red Devils are focusing on other transfer targets after all but completing the £73million signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
Sancho is expected to finalise his arrival over the next few days when a medical and the final personal terms are complete.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has is desperate to strengthen his squad this summer after seeing them once again fall short of a first Premier League title in eight years.
United finished runners-up to rivals Manchester City in the top-flight but were 12 points adrift of the runaway champions.
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Solskjaer has demanded at least two or three signings and got to work on the club’s transfer plans immediately after their Europa League final defeat by Villarreal at the end of May.
A midfielder is understood to be high on Solskjaer’s wish list and versatile West Ham star Rice is a contender to fill that role.
However, United have two issues that could prevent a move for the 22-year-old from happening, according to journalist Ian McGarry.
Solskjaer already has several highly paid players who play in that role, including Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek.
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The latter was a £34m signing last summer but scarcely featured in the Norwegian’s plans and has even been linked with a move away this year.
United’s second problem with Rice is that West Ham value him at around £80m. The £73m move for Sancho has already taken a large chunk of their budget and they have reportedly put aside £50m for a new centre-back to partner Harry Maguire.
“Rice was the subject of very, very intense interest from Chelsea when [Frank] Lampard was in charge of the team,” McGarry said on the Transfer Window Podcast.
“That interest subsided once he left the job. [Thomas] Tuchel appears to be satisfied with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho as his double pivot.
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“But it is our information at the Transfer Window Podcast that Manchester United expressed their interest in Rice before his very successful and impressive campaign with England over the course of the Euros.
“The problem or the difficulty for Manchester United is two-fold.
“One is that they have some very highly paid players who currently play in that position in defensive midfield.
“And secondly, West Ham will no doubt value Rice at around £70m-80m, which is a very substantial fee in Manchester United’s budget when they’re already trying to buy a striker.
“They’ve already agreed a £73m transfer of Sancho as well.”
Meanwhile, United will reportedly finalise deals for La Liga pair Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier next week in a move that could cost around £68m.
Solskjaer has wanted a new sidekick for Maguire and it appears that Real Madrid defender Varane is the man chosen to fill the void.
Atletico Madrid’s Trippier will provide competition for right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka while also acting as back-up for Luke Shaw, whose Euro 2020 final goal he assisted.
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