Man Utd have £40m saving in mind through Premier League alternative to Rice

Date published: Friday 16th July 2021 6:36 - Steve Pearson

Declan Rice; Kalvin Phillips England TEAMtalk

Man Utd have an ideal Premier League alternative in mind to West Ham’s impressive Declan Rice that could ultimately net a £40m saving, per a report.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are undoubtedly trending in the right direction after a series of meandering seasons post-Sir Alex Ferguson. Jadon Sancho’s imminent arrival and potential link-up with Bruno Fernandes has got fans’ pulses racing. Though by all accounts, their summer business is far from over.

The Red Devils’ main focus appears to be finding a world class partner for Harry Maguire. Raphael Varane is the current frontrunner, and a Thursday report suggested the transfer will be completed before the end of the month.

Elsewhere, an addition in midfield has been widely touted. West Ham ace Declan Rice has gone from strength to strength over the past few seasons.

The Hammer was a key component of England’s run to the final of Euro 2020. Accordingly, West Ham are believed to be willing to use the wages freed up by Felipe Anderson’s departure to offer him a bumper new contract.

However, Rice has emerged on the radar of Man Utd and the Red Devils often get their man on the domestic front.

But with his current deal running to 2024 and David Moyes predictably reluctant to sell, a deal could cost a fortune. Indeed, the Scot insisted Rice is worth “far, far more” than £100m back in March.

As such, the Daily Star highlight an alternative that could net a significant saving.

They state that Man Utd could turn to Wolves maestro Ruben Neves if a Rice deal is deemed unworkable.

The 24-year-old Portuguese international would not perform the same holding role as Rice. However, a recent report detailed a potential formation change if Varane arrives.

A switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 could lead to either Fred or Scott McTominay being sacrificed. In that scenario, Neves would be a perfect fit on either side of the midfield.

Ruben-Neves Portuga

Rennes’ starlet Eduardo Camavinga has also been touted, but Neves would be an altogether safer option given his experience in English football.

The Star conclude that Neves would likely be available for around the £60m mark – a potential £40m+ saving on Rice.

Man Utd, Liverpool gatecrash, Tottenham Arsenal battle

Meanwhile, Manchester United and Liverpool have reportedly joined Tottenham and Arsenal in the race to sign Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar this summer.

Aouar has two years remaining on his Lyon contract. But sources have told ESPN Football that the Ligue 1 club want to offload the player.

Liverpool held an interest after selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona. But the Gunners soon emerged as the frontrunners and have wanted the player for at least two years.

The Emirates outfit actually saw a €40million turned down last summer. However, Aouar is now expected to be on his way for around half that price.

That lower fee has alerted bargain-hunting Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. As such, Spurs are said to have jumped to the front of the queue for his signature.

But now ESPN claims that United and Liverpool have been alerted to Aouar’s lower asking price.

READ MORE: Paper Talk: Defining Man Utd breakthrough as Murtough strikes £68m gold

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