Erik ten Hag’s signings have had a profound impact on Manchester United’s fortunes this season and interestingly, the Dutchman was given full control in his first summer transfer window in charge.
Ten Hag was offered the chance to dictate targets himself and thus, he opted to sign players he was familiar with. As a result, three players joined from the Eredivisie.
The former Ajax manager’s stunning eye for talent has been affirmed by the impact his signings have had, with Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen broadly viewed as some of Europe’s best purchases.
Casemiro and Eriksen were both brought in to reinforce the midfield after many years of neglecting that department and now, there are links to another high-profile player in that area.
According to Football Insider, United remain hopeful of signing West Ham star Declan Rice this summer, with the England international approaching the final year of his contract.
As per the report, United are not frontrunners to sign Rice, however. It’s claimed that Arsenal are in pole position due to Rice’s desire to stay in the English capital.
That has not deterred Ten Hag and United and the Reds believe they are still capable of convincing Rice to join the Old Trafford club.
Rice has less than 18 months remaining on his current contract at the London Stadium but West Ham have the option to extend that deal for an additional season.
Rice is valued at a whopping €80m by statistical website Transfermarkt but in reality, it is plausible that West Ham ask for a higher fee.
It cannot be denied that United waited far too long to sign a defensive midfielder but Casemiro’s arrival means that there is no immediate urgency to sign another one.
An injury to the Brazil international, at this stage, would be catastrophic and there is little cover in the existing squad but a cheaper option may be explored if that’s what United are looking for.
Despite potentially having just a year left on his contract at the end of this season, West Ham are still in a position to demand a sizeable sum.