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Why Man United scouts have been instructed to identify alternative options to Declan Rice

Why Man United scouts have been instructed to identify alternative options to Declan Rice

Man United ‘earmark’ Declan Rice

Manchester United enjoyed one of the best 2021 summer transfer windows of all 20 Premier League clubs.

Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane have been brought in to strengthen two previously weak areas of the Red Devils’ squad.

Cristiano Ronaldo was then also secured during the final week of the window, and is no doubt set to improve United’s attacking threat.

But despite a pretty successful window, there is still one glaring problem area which the Manchester giants need to address, which comes, of course, in defensive midfield.

There are a couple of reasons for this, with the main one to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer licence to actually play Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the same midfield three, without being too exposed defensively.

Pogba is a quality midfielder, but when played in a pivot alongside Fred or Scott McTominay, it is safe to say that United look vulnerable.

The easy solution to this would be to sign a top-quality defensive midfielder, something United currently do not have on their books.

And earlier this month it did appear as though Man United had decided on who they wanted to bring in to solve this issue. A report from the Manchester Evening News stated that:

Manchester United have earmarked Declan Rice as their principal midfield target in next year’s summer transfer window.

Man United scouts told to identify alternatives to Rice

However, whilst Man United fans are likely keen to see Rice make the switch to Old Trafford, a pursuit may not be that straightforward.

And, as per ESPN, Man United scouts have been instructed to identify alternative options to Rice in the club’s search for a defensive midfielder next summer.

The reasons for this are concerns over West Ham’s valuation of him, as well as contrasting opinions within Old Trafford over Rice’s ability to significantly improve the team.

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This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 9 20 22
2 Liverpool FC 9 21 21
3 Manchester City 9 16 20
4 West Ham United 9 6 17
5 Brighton & Hove Albion 9 0 15
6 Tottenham Hotspur 9 -4 15
7 Manchester United 9 1 14
8 Everton FC 9 1 14
9 Leicester City 9 0 14
10 Arsenal FC 9 -3 14
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 0 13
12 Brentford FC 9 2 12
13 Aston Villa 9 -2 10
14 Watford FC 9 -5 10
15 Crystal Palace 9 -3 9
16 Southampton FC 9 -4 8
17 Leeds United 9 -8 7
18 Burnley FC 9 -8 4
19 Newcastle United 9 -9 4
20 Norwich City 9 -21 2

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 4
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 4
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 4
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 4
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 4
Hwang, Hee-chan Wolverhampton Wanderers 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 4
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 3
Townsend, Andros Everton FC 3
King, Joshua Watford FC 3
Ings, Danny Aston Villa 3
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3