Man United 'would kill' to sign Declan Rice from West Ham, declares pundit

Declan Rice is exactly the kind of midfield player that Man United are missing, according to Stephen Kelly

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screen grab)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: YouTube / Screengrab)

Manchester United would “kill” to have West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice at their disposal, according to former Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Kelly.

The Red Devils have been left reeling from their 4-2 defeat by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men lost their second Premier League game of the season to leave them five points off top spot in the table.

Manchester United were credited with an interest in signing England and West Ham star Rice in the summer transfer window but a move failed to materialise as the Red Devils brought in Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane.

Rice, who was also linked with Chelsea FC, has made a strong start to the season with West Ham, making two assists in eight Premier League games for the Hammers.

The midfielder was also a key player for England at Euro 2020, where he made seven appearances to help Gareth Southgate’s men reach the final.

Former Premier League and Republic of Ireland defender Kelly has now claimed that Rice is exactly the kind of player that Solskjaer is missing in his current Manchester United team.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily podcast, Kelly said: “I can’t fault Declan Rice. He has been excellent.

“He is that midfield role that pretty much all the teams would love to have. Manchester United would kill for this guy in the current moment.

“Imagine what he would be able to do to steady that ship and get the front players on the ball more.

“I love how he screens passes. He does it so well it’s unbelievable. West Ham, when they’re fighting in Europe and the league, it’s not easy.

“When you have a massive squad at a bigger club you can be in the bigger games. For me, I am not too sure I can see him staying there. In the long run, I think he is destined for bigger things.”

Speaking earlier in the month, former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn also stated his belief that Rice would be an excellent signing for the Red Devils.

Winterburn said: “The time will come for him to move on, and I’d be amazed if one of the big clubs in the Premier League is not in for him straight away when they realise he’s available.

“Potentially even major clubs abroad too. It depends on what Declan wants to do but I’d guess he’d want to stay in the Premier League.

“I’m not sure about Manchester City signing him, but whether Manchester United or Chelsea want to move for him all depends on his availability and if it’s the right time for the club.

“I can see him suiting United because they’ve got an abundance of attacking talent but are often caught wide open defensively. He would be the perfect fit. Whether United have got another £90m is another matter.”

Manchester United will host Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday night before their crunch Premier League showdown with Liverpool FC on Sunday at Old Trafford.

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