Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has urged the club to pay whatever it takes to sign Declan Rice from West Ham United.
Man United had a successful summer transfer window, bringing in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, they didn’t strengthen in the area they arguably needed to the most – midfield.
The Red Devils fell short of rivals Man City last term, with Scott McTominay and Fred a double-pivot without the sufficient quality to mount a genuine assault on the Premier League title.
Regardless of whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is able to deliver the title this campaign, signing a new midfielder will surely top their list of priorities when next summer comes around.
According to a report published by Manchester Evening News in wake of this summer’s market, Declan Rice has been identified as a primary target for Man United in 2022.
Rice has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the country and a mainstay in the England National Team midfield. He’s also just 22-years-old with plenty of room for growth.
A midfielder with that profile is never going to come cheap, though. As per the Telegraph, West Ham slapped a £100m asking price on Rice over the summer transfer window.
Luke Chadwick, a man who knows what it takes to compete in the middle of the park for Man United, has called on his former employers to pay what’s necessary to get the deal done.
He told CaughtOffside during an exclusive interview:
“I think the way Declan Rice has developed has been incredible,” Chadwick said. “One of the first names on the team sheet in an England shirt and in the last 12 months his development has been huge. I think David Moyes has to take a huge amount of credit for that.”
“That’s the price now if you want a world-class player. You’re looking at £90m-£100m plus so considering what he’s done and the level that he’s playing at it is a price worth paying.”
“I think he’d add loads to the Man United team, Chadwick continued. “A young English player as well.”
“He has to make that decision over leaving West Ham. You look at the person that he’s taken over from at West Ham in Mark Noble, who’s stayed at the club his whole career.”
“West Ham is one of those clubs when if it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood. It’ll be interesting to see what he does.”
As stated in the aforementioned report by the Telegraph, Chelsea are also thought to be in the running to re-sign Rice, but Chadwick believes that could have changed after Saul Niguez arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid, as he told CaughtOffside.
“I think Chelsea strengthening that position with Saul [Niguez] means that they wouldn’t go for him and that’s a club that he’s got history with as a young boy.”
“If he does become available I’m sure it’s a signing that United would want to make and I think at £90m-£100m that’s just the price to pay for top, top players.”
Saul has work to do if he wants to prove to Thomas Tuchel and the Chelsea hierarchy that he’s worth the abandonment of their pursuit of Rice. His disastrous 45 minute cameo against Aston Villa will have done him no favours.
From Man United’s perspective, they ought to assume that they will not be alone in the race to sign Rice over the summer and should be putting money aside in anticipation of a bidding war which could hit the £100m mark.
You think back to world-class midfielders Man United had through the Sir Alex Ferguson era, the likes of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick, they’re lacking both that quality and steel in the central midfield area at current.
Rice is, on paper, would be the ideal solution for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.