ESPN have offered an update on Manchester United’s pursuit of long-term target Declan Rice.

They report that there are contrasting opinions on the England international among senior figures at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is apparently a huge fan of the midfielder but others have doubts.

Specifically, some whether whether Rice is quick enough, both with and without the ball.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

There are also apparently concerns over how well he would compliment Scott McTominay.

Some apparently think he could merely replicate what the Scotland international brings to the table.

The concerns also surround West Ham’s valuation of Rice, which is thought to be around £90 million.

For that money, everyone from a recruitment perspective should be in total agreement.

 

Because they currently aren’t, United are apparently looking at cheaper alternatives playing abroad who could anchor the midfield.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
(Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Are United’s concerns justified?

There are a few factors to unpick here. Rice is a fantastic young midfielder, with huge Premier League experience. He could well be an England international for the next ten years and he would be a huge upgrade on Fred.

With him alongside McTominay, United would have a towering, physical midfield duo, both capable of playing disciplined roles or bombing on defending on the demands of the game.

But the price is a major factor. We have written for a while that it might be worth United looking at more affordable holding midfield options.

Another thing to consider is Rice apparently wants to change his game so he’s more like Yaya Toure, moving forward out of midfield.

What United need is a disciplined anchorman, although it is hard to understand concerns he’s not quick enough. Rice is a great athlete, and will only improve as he matures.

It will be interesting to see if alternative midfield targets emerge over the coming weeks and months, and how they compare to Rice in terms of their attributes and affordability.

Have something to tell us about this article?