MANCHESTER UNITED are preparing to rival Chelsea in a £70million transfer battle for Declan Rice, according to reports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is thought to want a defensive midfielder and centre-back in the summer.
Manchester United are reportedly preparing a bid for Declan Rice in the summer transfer windowCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Rice, 22, has played in both positions over his career but is now settled as a holding midfielder.
And ESPN report the Red Devils will line up a bid.
Ed Woodward is ready to back Solskjaer in the transfer window as the club begin to challenge at the top of the Premier League again.
But a lot of United’s spending plans also ride on Paul Pogba’s situation as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
Pogba has 18 months left on his current Old Trafford contract and has repeatedly hinted at his desire to leave – but whether the likes of Real Madrid or Juventus could afford him is unclear.
Rice would be a natural successor to Nemanja Matic in the United midfield and an upgrade on Fred.
The England international was released by the Blues aged 14 but is reportedly open to a return.
FANCY A PUNT? TODAY’S BEST ODDS BOOSTS FROM THE UK’S LEADING BOOKIES
There, he would link up with best pal Mason Mount as well as fellow English youngsters Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Although West Ham hope the £70m price tag slapped on their academy graduate would be enough to deter potential bidders – especially with his contract running until 2024.
He has played 19 times for the Hammers so far this season, wearing the captain’s armband for most of those.
⚽ Read our Man United live blog for the latest news from Old Trafford
Rice would link up with best mate Mason Mount if he returned to ChelseaCredit: Arfa Griffiths – The Sun