Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag told to ignore Declan Rice and launch massive Man Utd bid for West Ham teammate

Erik ten Hag, new Man Utd manager, told to target West Ham forward. Photo shows Ten Hag speaks to the media during his spell as Ajax boss

Manchester United’s new manager Erik ten Hag has been advised to forget any summer move for Declan Rice – but should go big in an effort to prise one of his Hammers teammates to Old Trafford.

The new United manager has his feet under his desk at Carrington, having quit his job with Ajax six weeks early. The 52-year-old clearly has a massive job on his hands in rebuilding an under-performing squad.

He is not due to officially take charge of the club until next season. However, he might be in the stands for their final game at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

However, work is already well underway as he works on rebuilding his squad. Up to 12 players are expected to leave this summer, with the first of those, Nemanja Matic, seemingly nearing a move to a new club.

And with Paul Pogba also leaving on a free, strengthening midfield is clearly in Ten Hag’s thinking.

To that end, United are very much long-time admirers of Rice. However, prising him away from the Hammers looks an impossibly-tough task. David Moyes has already spoken out to explain why he thinks the player merits a £150m asking price.

United, though, have been told not to waste their time trying to sign him. And according to Andy Townsend, he thinks Ten Hag should instead target Jarrod Bowen.

Since arriving from Hull in January 2020, Bowen has established himself as one of the Premier League’s elite forwards. Indeed, he has 18 goals and 11 assists this season; form which has stands him on the brink of an England call-up.

He earns an estimated £60,000 – £80,000 a week at West Ham. However, reports on Tuesday claim the Hammers are looking to extend his deal and raise his pay to a club-high £125,000 a week.

Man Utd urged to make their move

Townsend though thinks West Ham would lose him should Manchester United come calling.

“Jarrod Bowen has been great. He’s been so good lately,” Townsend told talkSPORT.

“I tell you what, I bet you West Ham get a bid or two for him in the summer, I bet they do.

“Would you have him at Manchester United? Like a shot you would.

“He can play anywhere. I’ve seen him play up the middle for West Ham, on one side. For United, he’d get in the team wherever he likes! I would play him off the right-hand side.”

Asked if Bowen can make the Qatar World Cup, Townsend added: “He’s a good player.

“Should he be on the plane? He probably won’t get on the plane, will he? It’s just happened a bit late and I think that most of the seats on that plane are taken.

“With all of the players at the top of the field that Gareth has got to choose from, I don’t quite see him getting on the plane unless he features in some of these Nations League games and plays unbelievably well.

“But he’s a dangerous boy, there’s no doubt about that.”

Jadon Sancho told to watch and learn from Bowen

One man who has failed to live up to his billing on a regular basis this season is Jadon Sancho.

West Ham pair Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice

Having arrived for big money from Borussia Dortmund last summer, he has a disappointing five goals and five assists.

And Townsend thinks he needs to buck his ideas up at Manchester United.

“Sancho’s got to liven up, that’s what he’s got to do,” he added.

“He’s got to do more; he’s got to do a lot more because he’s had what, half a dozen decent game?”

Jarrod Bowen worthy of high acclaim

The form of Jarrod Bowen has quite rightly earned him plenty of accolades this season.

He has emerged as one of the first names on Moyes’ team sheet and it surely cannot be too long before an England call is earned.

Compare his stats to his peers, such as Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford, then surely Bowen deserves that consideration too.

Indeed, only really Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling, of the current England attcking midfielders, cum forwards, have figures than can match Bowen.

The Hammers, understandably, are looking to strike fast and to pin Bowen down to a bumper new deal.

And he’s certainly worthy of being elevated to among West Ham’s top earners following his stellar season. It also makes a mockery of the bargain £20m fee Moyes paid out to Hull just two and a half years ago.