Premier League heavyweights Manchester United have made signing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice a priority whether they sack manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or not, according to Goal.
The outlet claims that the Red Devils are gearing up to make a run at Rice and Napoli centre back Kalidou Koulibaly ahead of next season.
And they will do so regardless of Solskjaer’s future. The Norwegian is under pressure at Old Trafford after a sub par start to the campaign, which included a 2-0 defeat at the London Stadium.
United are already mulling January moves for Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen, with Rice and Koulibaly potentially to follow in the summer.
It would be a travesty for West Ham to lose Rice so soon into what is sure to be a phenomenal career. He’s only really been a regular first team player for a little over a year, and so it would be a huge shame to see him shipped off already. It would be especially painful to see him transfer to a club in absolute disarray like the Red Devils. However, if they come in and offer £80-£100million, it’s going to be very difficult for the Hammers to say no. That’s just the way of the football world. It’s clear that United have made Rice a priority and will move for him no matter who is in charge. That’s a big problem for Manuel Pellegrini, because it’s going to be hugely difficult to replace the England international. The statistics tell us as much. As per WhoScored.com, the 20-year-old is currently averaging 3.8 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game. He’s also averaging 46.6 passes per game with a terrific 89.5% of them finding their intended target. So it would be the last thing the club need to have to sell their finest young talent.