Manchester United should ‘break the bank’ for Declan Rice, says Paul Merson

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Declan Rice looks on during West Ham's Premier League with Manchester United

Declan Rice is being heavily linked with Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Paul Merson says Manchester United should ‘break the bank’ for West Ham star Declan Rice in the summer transfer window as he believes the squad is seriously lacking strength and depth in midfield.

Rice has enjoyed an outstanding start to the season and is considered one of the hottest properties in Premier League football, with Manchester City, Chelsea and United all credited with a strong interest in the 23-year-old.

The Hammers have failed with repeated attempts to tie Rice down with a renewal – with the England international out of contract in 2024 – and the club are braced for a flurry of offers for their prized possession in the summer.

However, a deal will not come cheap given West Ham and head coach David Moyes are demanding in excess of £100m for their vice-captain.

Asked about Rice’s future, ex-Arsenal and England ace Merson told Sky Sports: ‘I think he will be gone this summer.

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‘I think it will be Manchester United. If you’re Manchester United you’ve got to break the bank.

‘If you look at their midfield it is not strong enough, they don’t dominate football matches and for me, they have to go and get him.

‘I think he is the best in the business, he has improved immensely, he has taken his game up not one or two, I think he has taken it up ten-fold.

‘From a holding midfield player, he is bombing forward, scoring goals, getting chances, and making goals.

‘I can’t talk highly enough of the lad, I think he’s been absolutely phenomenal.’

Cheltenham Festival - Ladies Day

Merson believes Rice is an ‘absolutely phenomenal’ player (Picture: Getty)

Rice was released by Chelsea’s academy at the age of 14 and the Champions League holders are reportedly keen to bring the Englishman back to west London.

But Merson feels Thomas Tuchel is already well stocked in midfield with three ‘unbelievable’ players in Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.

‘Chelsea could go and get him but they could do without him,’ he added.

‘They’ve still got Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante – three unbelievable midfield players and they dominate football matches.

‘But you look at Manchester United and the midfield isn’t strong enough to win anything really.’


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