Man Utd scouts raise major red flag over ‘slow’ target no better than Matic

Date published: Wednesday 5th May 2021 11:18 - Jonny Whitfield

Nemanja Matic Man Utd January 2020

Manchester United scouts have raised concerns over two aspects of Declan Rice’s play, dampening the prospect of a transfer raid on West Ham.

United have reportedly held interest in the holding midfielder for some time now. The 22-year-old has emerged as one of the Premier League’s finest in his position, with recent injury breaking a long run of consecutive appearances. He has also emerged on the international stage and will likely feature for England at Euro 2020 if fit.

West Ham boss David Moyes has repeatedly warned prospective buyers that they face a tough task to sign Rice.

Indeed, the Scot has said that the midfielder is worth over £100million. That figure remains, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic affecting club finances.

Previous reports have revealed how Rice asked United stars about life at Old Trafford while on international duty.

According to Claret & Hugh, though, club scouts have two big concerns about the England international, warning that he is “overpriced and too slow”.

The Red Devils, the report claims, want a ‘dynamic’ partnership at the base of the midfield. As well as covering centre-backs, the pairing should be able to break the lines and help in attack just as well.

As such, the reported warning about lack of pace from club scouts has raised concerns.

A United source has also reportedly claimed that scouts believe Rice lacks a key trait, which current midfielders Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba both possess.

The insider reportedly told Claret & Hugh: “The scouts have sent back plenty of positive reports on Rice but there are a couple of suggestions he might not have the pace they are looking for, and he’s more comfortable playing side to side, rather than breaking lines like Pogba or Matic do.

“United want to sign at least three players this summer and they are hearing West Ham would demand £100m for Rice, which the people at Old Trafford consider at least £20m too much.”

Rice has fantastic West Ham impact

Declan Rice West Ham v Arsenal March 2021

Despite his young age, Rice has already racked up 128 Premier League appearances.

Nevertheless, he is fighting to get back fit from a rare spell on the sidelines. Furthermore, Moyes has linked his side’s recent run of poorer results to the injury.

The Hammers once controlled their fate in the race to finish in the top four, but have lost two of their last five games.


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What’s more, they have conceded nine goals in that time.

Moyes told a recent press conference (via Football London) when asked why his side are now struggling defensively: “Mostly it is not having Declan Rice.”

READ MORE: Henry claims West Ham would have finished higher with ‘contagious’ star

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