Declan Rice: Paul Merson backs Manchester United to sign West Ham captain in the summer

Declan Rice: Paul Merson backs Manchester United to sign West Ham captain in the summer

Paul Merson has explained why he expects Declan Rice to join Manchester United from West Ham United at the end of the season.

Man United were keen on signing a defensive midfielder last summer but somehow, changed their plans and signed Cristiano Ronaldo during the last hours of the transfer window.

United’s failure to sign a defensive midfielder last summer has taken a slight toll on their quest to end their four-year title drought after they sacked their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to a run of poor form and crashed out of the Carabao Cup.

The Red Devils are obviously out of the Premier League title race, limiting them to just the FA Cup and Champions League competitions.

Having resisted the temptation to splash the cash in January, Manchester United are expected to be busy in the transfer market in the summer and Merson believes United would dare to break the bank in order to sign Rice from West Ham United.

The England international has been linked with big moves away from the Hammers in recent seasons, attracting interest from both Chelsea and Manchester United.

Paul Merson believes The Blues have an array of ‘unbelievable’ midfielders at Thomas Tuchel’s disposal, hence why he expects the 23-year-old to move to United, whose midfield isn’t strong enough to win silverware.

“I think Declan Rice will be gone this summer,” Merson told Sky Sports. “I think it will be Man Utd, if you’re Man Utd you’ve got to break the bank.

“If you look at their midfield it is not strong enough, they don’t dominate football matches and for me, they have to go and get him.

Paul Merson expects Declan Rice to join Manchester United in the summer
Paul Merson expects Declan Rice to join Manchester United in the summer

“I think he is the best in the business, he has improved immensely, he has taken his game up not one or two, I think he has taken it up ten-fold.

“From a holding midfield player, he is bombing forward, scoring goals, getting chances, and making goals. I can’t talk highly enough of the lad, I think he’s been absolutely phenomenal.

Chelsea could go and get him but they could do without him. They’ve still got Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante – three unbelievable midfield players and they dominate football matches.

“But you look at Manchester United and the midfield isn’t strong enough to win anything really.”

The West Ham United skipper in January admitted that Old Trafford is one of the favourite stadiums he loves to play in and hailed it as an ‘amazing’ stadium.

Rice made these comments after The Hammers suffered a painful 1-0 loss to Manchester United when Marcus Rashford scored the match-winning goal in the last seconds of the game.

“I was loving it,” he told Sky Sports. “Every time I come to Old Trafford, I’ve always said it’s one of my favourite places to play.

“It’s an amazing stadium.”