Man Utd on pole for Prem star but deal relies on trusted Solskjaer man’s exit

Date published: Wednesday 17th February 2021 7:28 - Jonny Whitfield

Declan Rice, Danny Ings February 2020

Manchester United have shown the most interest in a deal for Declan Rice, but his transfer reportedly relies on a key Old Trafford exit.

Rice has become West Ham‘s key man, taking the captain’s armband in 17 Premier League games this season.

However, the 22-year-old‘s recent rise, including his now-regular role with England, has attracted interest for some time.

Chelsea were keen under former boss Frank Lampard. Indeed, the Blues let Rice leave their academy at the age of 14.

However, United have also supposedly shown interest in the past. According to transfer expert Ian McGarry, the Red Devils lead Liverpool in the race.

“He’s no longer on the transfer list of recruitment possibilities for the Stamford Bridge club but, has certainly aroused the interest of both Liverpool and Manchester United,” the insider told the Transfer Window podcast.

“Both of whom have expressed interest to Rice’s agent, as we understand and have asked to be informed of any offers made for the England international.

“It’s our information that United at this moment in time are the greater in terms of being interested in Rice, out of the two clubs.

“That’s also based upon the possibility of players leaving Old Trafford however.”

McGarry added that one of United’s trusted midfielders would have to leave if they were to move for Rice.

Scott McTominay only recently signed a new deal and has continued to prove a vital influence this season. Indeed, as well as his defensive work, he has added a fine goalscoring touch to his game this term.

Fred, meanwhile, is another key cog in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team. Nemanja Matic has also played his own role this term.

Rice would have to replace Man Utd star

“Clearly what’s been going on over the last few weeks has been a rotational system where Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic have been involved – playing certain games and being left out of certain games,” McGarry added.

“It’s our information that one of those players more or less needs to be shipped out in order for Rice to join Manchester United, both on the basis of fee, wages and contract because at this moment in time the financial situation at the club is such that they’re prefer not to add another expensive player to their 25-man squad.

“They would instead prefer to at least dispose of one of those players in order to make it more feasible for them to sign Rice.”

Rice has played every minute in the Premier League this season, with the Hammers fourth in the table.

READ MORE: Man Utd clear out to free up over £200,000 on wage bill

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