One pundit claimed Man Utd should’ve moved for Declan Rice instead of signing Casemiro if they’re serious about rebuilding, while Paul Merson put forward an embarrassment angle as to why they didn’t even try.
United will soon have Casemiro anchoring their midfield. Personal terms have been agreed that will see the Brazilian destroyer sign a four-year deal. United will hold a club option for a fifth, while the player could net close to David de Gea’s £375,000-a-week salary in a heavily incentivised package.
Manchester United are paying £60m up front with a further £10m earmarked for add-ons.
The move looks a fantastic one on paper, though questions have already been raised regarding United’s overarching strategy.
Indeed, Brazil-based journalist, Tim Vickery, has reservations on two fronts, including concerns about the timing of the move.
Now, speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday program, former Tottenham defender, Michael Dawson, declared Declan Rice should’ve been targeted instead.
The West Ham talisman is expected to move on to a bigger club at some stage in his career. The Hammers will hope that isn’t any time soon, and David Moyes has already stated they’ll demand far in excess of £100m for his sale when the time comes.
However, at 23, Dawson believes Rice would’ve been a superior choice to Casemiro to help lead the United rebuild.
Declan Rice a more sensible option than Casemiro?
“Surely Declan Rice has got to be a name there,” said Michael Dawson. “You see him in the World Cup, you see him in the Euros… I’m a massive fan of him.
“You talk about [Man Utd having] a strategy. At the age of 23 you’re looking long-term.
“I think Casemiro is a good signing. £60m is a lot of money, he’s 30, he’s still going to improve them, but I’m looking at Declan Rice and Paul Merson looked at me like I was stupid when I said £100m.
“Go and pay that, it’s Manchester United. I think he’s magnificent.”
Man Utd “can’t keep on getting embarrassed” – Merson
Merson was also in the studio and after shooting Dawson a quizzical look, questioned why Rice is apparently worth £100m.
He also claimed United may not be moving for the England ace because they fear they’ll be embarrassed if they fail to land another major target. Their inability to land Frenkie de Jong after a 13-week pursuit does not reflect well on the club.
“I’m a big fan of Declan Rice, but £100m is a lot of money,” said Merson.
“Does Declan Rice want to go to Man Utd? They can’t keep on getting embarrassed, it’s always ‘can’t get him, can’t get him’.
“If Rice turns around and says ‘I don’t want to go to Man Utd’, then you worry.”