Paper Talk: Double priority prompts Man Utd to reignite £80m pursuit

Date published: Tuesday 7th September 2021 8:28 - Samuel Bannister

Ollie Watkins dribbling away from Declan Rice

Manchester United remain interested in a long-term Chelsea target to address an area of need next year, while Liverpool could pose a threat to Bayern Munich in a striker battle – all in Tuesday’s transfer gossip.

MAN UTD PLOTTING RICE TRANSFER

Declan Rice remains a target for Manchester United for next summer’s transfer window, according to reports.

The England midfielder has spent his entire professional career with West Ham so far, but has been linked with a transfer for a couple of years. He has been a top target for Chelsea, where he used to play in the academy ranks, for example.

In fact, a recent report suggested Chelsea could pass up their option to buy Saul Niguez next summer if Rice is available for the right price.

Man Utd are also long-term admirers, though, and a report from ESPN claims they could make a move of their own next year.

Defensive midfield has been an area for United to strengthen for some time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer regularly used a double pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred last season, to varying effect. Some feel they need an upgrade there to become stronger challengers.

Therefore, they are once again looking in Rice’s direction, according to ESPN.

United have double priority for 2022

Although they could have made a move this summer, Man Utd have briefed the source that their priorities were to sign a centre-back and a winger this summer. To that end, they brought in Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, before capping off the window with the return of Cristiano Ronaldo – which took them over budget.

They will have to weigh up the balance in a year’s time, but their early priorities are a striker and a defensive midfielder, the report adds.

For the latter role, Rice remains on their shortlist, although there are other options. They will whittle down the options over the coming season.

In the meantime, 22-year-old Rice will be assessing West Ham’s own progress. They reached the Europa League spots last season after showing huge signs of improvement. Then, they have begun this season well, but will have to sustain that form.

Rice wants to play Champions League football sooner rather than later in his career. Hence, he could consider an exit from West Ham unless they can qualify for the competition.

Even though he remains under contract until 2024, ESPN predict West Ham will have to lower their £80m valuation of the 25-cap England star.


Five former Manchester United players still available as free agents


NEW STRIKER LINK FOR LIVERPOOL

Karim Adeyemi during Germany vs Armenia

Liverpool could rival Bayern Munich for the signing of RB Salzburg attacker Karim Adeyemi, who would cost €20m. (Bild)

Manchester City are keeping an eye on AC Milan’s flying full-back Theo Hernandez, as are Paris Saint-Germain. (Calciomercato)

Cristiano Ronaldo may not be able to make his second Man Utd debut at the weekend because of quarantine rules and a lack of training. (The Sun)

Tottenham were the favourites to sign Caleb Chukwuemeka from Northampton Town this summer before Aston Villa snuck in ahead of them. (Football Insider)


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Phil Foden is in line to receive a new six-year contract from Manchester City. (Manchester Evening News)

Arsenal are sticking with Mikel Arteta after any approach for Antonio Conte was denied. (Daily Mirror)

PSG HAVE POGBA BELIEF

Paul Pogba before Man Utd friendly August 2021

Paris Saint-Germain think Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United for Real Madrid instead of them next year. (Defensa Central)

Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso could be targeted by Inter Milan next summer, as they look to revamp their left-hand side. (Calciomercato)

Tottenham will fine Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso, the Argentina duo in hot water over not fulfilling quarantine requirements, after it emerged they never had permission to team up with their country during this international break. (Daily Telegraph)

However, players’ unions may challenge the club if they do so. (The Times)

Aliou Traore will sign for Parma following his release from Man Utd over the summer. (Fabrizio Romano)

AND MORE TRANSFER GOSSIP

Arsenal tried to re-sign Glen Kamara from Rangers over the summer, with the midfielder interested in the move before they opted for Albert Sambi Lokonga instead. (Football Insider)

Mohamed Elneny’s wage demands have put paid to Besiktas’ hopes of signing him from Arsenal, after the same happened with Galatasaray. (TalkSport)

Antoine Griezmann took a 40% wage cut to leave Barcelona and return to Atletico Madrid this summer. (Goal)

Daniel Sturridge is still searching for a new club, but scored in a behind-closed-doors friendly for Mallorca. (Daily Mirror)

Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso will be a target for Inter Milan when his contract expires next year. (Tuttosport)

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