Man Utd ‘set their sights’ on bargain Rice alternative

Date published: Monday 20th September 2021 11:34 - Joe Williams

Franck Kessie Man Utd

Man Utd are ready to make a move for AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie if other potential deals fail to materialise, according to reports.

The Red Devils spent £126.85m to bring Tom Heaton, Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford in the summer transfer window.

Supporters were happy with the club’s summer business but the icing on the cake for many would’ve been a new central midfielder.


Man Utd’s individual brilliance bailed out Solskjaer…


Man Utd were linked with a number of players in that position, including new Chelsea signing Saul Niguez, Eduardo Camavinga – who eventually signed for Real Madrid – and West Ham’s Declan Rice.

Rice seems to be the main target in that position for United with reports consistently linking the Manchester-based club with the England international.

A report on Friday claimed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to sign Rice over Ronaldo this summer as he saw the West Ham midfielder as the ‘missing piece’ to his Man Utd puzzle.

However, the Red Devils couldn’t make a deal happen in the summer with the Hammers demanding £100m for the 22-year-old.

Man Utd are likely to go back in for Rice in the summer transfer window but Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claim that they have also ‘set their sights’ on AC Milan’s Kessie in case they miss out on their top targets.

The Ivorian is out of contract at the end of the current season with a number of clubs reportedly chasing his signature.

PSG, Juventus, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Tottenham have all been linked with Kessie, who has been offered a new deal to remain at the San Siro.

Meanwhile, former West Ham player Kevin Nolan claims he wouldn’t sell Rice for £100m as he’s only “going to get better”.

“When you’re in the room with Declan Rice, you know you’re in the room with Declan Rice, but he doesn’t make you feel uneasy,” Nolan told BBC Sport.

“He’s one of those kids who wants to learn, wants to get better, always willing to take advice on, always willing to try and get better and want to get better.

“The biggest thing for me as a coach is he listens to me, he respects me for what I’ve done, but I feel that this lad can go on and I feel he’s already done more than I have in terms of England appearances, being in Europe and things like that.

“He’s going to keep going because [0f] his athleticism. He trains every day, he wants to train every day, he can hit it from one side of the pitch [to the other] with his right foot or his left foot.

“He can run with the ball, he’s got everything that you could possibly wish for as a footballer and plus he’s got a good footballing brain where he’s now learning for West Ham, and he’s done it with England, he’s now learning how to control games.

“When you watch him play, he just seems in control of everything. For me, he’s going to get better. Putting a price tag on him, I wouldn’t sell him for £100m.”

 

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