Man United “planning move” for £100m “Rolls Royce”, it could be bad news for Eriksen

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Declan Rice, a standout for West Ham United, is thought to be moving closer to a summer departure from the London Stadium, and Manchester United is apparently interested in making a high-profile move for him.

What has changed since Rice joined Man United?

According to journalist Jacob Steinberg, the Red Devils are prepared to compete with rival Arsenal for the 24-year-old’s services, as he revealed on Twitter: Declan Rice’s summer transfer to Manchester United is being planned. Despite their extensive preparations, Arsenal now faces United as a rival for the West Ham midfielder.

The transfer insider said that, despite United’s priority appearing to be on signing a new striker this summer, there is ‘increasing’ interest in the Hammers star in his attached piece for The Guardian.

Although there is ‘no guarantee’ Erik ten Hag’s team will make a move for the former Chelsea youth product, who could command a fee of around £100m, Rice does seem to be a target for the Old Trafford team, with the midfielder in line for an exit from his current side with just a year left on his existing deal.

At Manchester United, how might Rice fit in?

It may be clear why Ten Hag is keeping an eye on the 6-foot-1 maestro given that the Manchester Evening News previously reported that the Dutchman is looking to sign a “younger midfielder” before the start of the 2019–2020 campaign after signing the seasoned pair of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen last summer.

Rice’s arrival may be bad news for the latter player in especially because Casemiro, who the manager has referred to as the “cement” of the team, is unlikely to lose his starting position next season despite having cost the team a whopping £70 million back in August.

With two goals and nine assists across all competitions this season, Eriksen, a Danish playmaker who joined on a free transfer at the beginning of last summer, has made an impressive impact at the Theatre of Dreams. However, at the age of 31, it is unclear if he can be a long-term solution in the middle of the park.

Despite the former Tottenham Hotspur player’s creative advantages, which are demonstrated by the fact that he ranks in the top 1% of his European counterparts for assists, he does not appear to have the ball-winning genius or the agility of the aforementioned Rice.

The West Ham machine’s ability to win back the ball and drive forward from deep is demonstrated by the fact that he ranks in the top 3% for interceptions and the top 14% for progressive carries, while Eriksen, in contrast, only ranks in the bottom 10% and top 37% for those same two metrics, respectively.

When the two teams faced off in the capital last weekend, it was Rice, who Danny Murphy has referred to as a “Rolls Royce,” who emerged victorious. According to 90min’s Toby Cudworth, the 41-cap ace was “absolutely sensational,” while Eriksen, by contrast, was “overwhelmed” in the second half, according to GOAL’s Richard Martin.

It won’t be a surprise if the £60k-per-week star is lined up alongside Casemiro in a red jersey next season after that outstanding performance from the Englishman certainly sparked Ten Hag and company’s attention even more.

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