Manchester United have been told signing Declan Rice would improve them in three important areas.
Having finished as runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League last season, key figures responsible for incomings and outgoings sanctioned three marquee summer signings — Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
A follow-up pursuit for a top-level defensive midfielder player was not deemed financially viable, though.
And the Manchester Evening News understands that position has been identified as a priority for 12 months from now with Rice a top target number for United.
That’s despite concerns West Ham might dig their heels in over a valuation for the England player and demand more than £100million.
As the 22-year-old continues to emerge as one of the Premier League stand-out players, he continues to win plaudits, especially in the wake of another talismanic display as the Hammers beat Liverpool 3-2 on Sunday.
Speaking about his former team-mate on punditry duty for Sky Sports, ex-England playmaker Jack Wilshere picked out technical ability, drive and finishing as three key areas in Rice’s game.
Wilshere said: “Look at them stats there, he has everything. First in everything. What he does off the ball physically, the numbers he can reach. A big part of his game which has improved is his technical game. He picks the ball up, he drives through midfield and he’s a real character.
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“He’s a leader and you can see that on the pitch in the way he plays.
“When I was there training, my only surprise with him was that he doesn’t score enough goals – he knows that. He can finish with his left-foot, right-foot, he’s the best finisher at the club for me and he’s trying to improve that. He’s working hard at it and I think that comes with confidence, as well, and he’s starting to get there.”
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