Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd told to spend a ‘fortune’ on midfield star as huge comparison made

James Holland
Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham England

A former Man Utd star has told the Red Devils to go all out by spending a ‘fortune’ on a midfield star.

Man Utd sit seventh in the Premier League after 19 matches. They are four points behind the Champions League places, with fourth spot currently occupied by Arsenal.

Man Utd went on a five-game unbeaten run in all competitions following Ralf Rangnick’s arrival in late November.

They beat the likes of Crystal Palace and Burnley without reaching top gear, before going on to lose against Wolves last time out.

Bruno Lage’s side won 1-0 at Old Trafford thanks to Joao Moutinho’s well-taken goal in the 82nd minute.

Questions have since arisen over the Man Utd players’ ability to adapt to Rangnick’s methods, which involves a high press and intense style.

The Manchester club have now been told to make a statement by signing a top-class midfielder later this year. He could fit their system perfectly, too.

Former defender Paul Parker, who made 131 appearances for United between 1991 and 1996, said (via the Daily Mail): “If you wanted to spend a fortune on a midfield player, go and get Declan Rice.

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“Declan is the best central midfielder in the country.

“If Manchester City wants to pay £100m for Jack Grealish, if someone wants you to pay £160m [for Rice], then you gotta pay it because Grealish wasn’t worth £100m. [City] have set a mark now.”

Parker also made a big comparison involving three United legends. “Rice is the closest player that United could ever get, who you would say is — ‘no he’s Bryan Robson, no he’s Roy Keane, no he’s Paul Ince.’ This is because he wants to do everything,” Parker added.

“He’s one of those players who… wants to be all over the park trying to control everything.”

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Meanwhile, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly the new leading contender to take over from Rangnick at the end of the season.

Rangnick, 63, will begin a two-year stint as a club consultant once his spell as manager ends in June.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino had been the frontrunner to place him. The Argentine already has experience in England thanks to his time with Tottenham.

But The Times claim ten Hag is now United’s top target. The Dutchman is arguably one of the best managers in European football. He has won two Eredivisie titles since taking over in December 2017.

His playing style is also a major plus point for United and would certainly endear the fans.

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