Manchester United urged to complete 'most important' Declan Rice transfer
Declan Rice is of interest to Manchester United following his impressive performances for West Ham and England.
Manchester United have been urged to complete a deal to sign Declan Rice from West Ham by former midfielder Paul Parker.
The England international has excelled with club and country throughout the past year, helping West Ham qualify for next season’s Europa League, and is a player of interest to United.
However, the Hammers are reluctant to let the 22-year-old leave east London and are demanding a fee in excess of £100m for his services, a price United may find difficult to match due to the expenditure on Jadon Sancho and the need for a new central defender.
Despite the club’s searches elsewhere in the market though, Parker believes that the influence of Rice on United could be greater than the impact of any other new arrivals this summer.
If you’re going to talk about impact [of transfers], I think he could maybe be the most important one and could make the difference in a really-good partnership compared to an average one,” he told MEN Sport.
“The way he plays, the authority he plays with, he nicks balls off people’s toes, he very rarely gets booked. United don’t really have anyone like that, the only one is ageing, Nemanja Matic, there’s no-one else in that role who can play.
“You can through Fred into the mix and he can go and do a job but he isn’t disciplined enough to do it. Scott McTominay isn’t a Manchester United midfielder player, if you’re looking to win things consistently, he’s not the player to play in a holding role because he doesn’t know how to play in that role.
“At this moment in time, he’s not ready for that but Declan Rice is. He’s young, he’s emerging and he’s already an old head on young shoulders. He’s absolutely the person to do that. If you look for someone abroad, you have to worry about them settling into the Premier League.
“Rice can do the job sitting in front and breaking up play. What he can do as well is get forward into the box, he can change the game by opening his legs up and running with the ball. I’ve seen him play a lot at West Ham and I’ve seen enough of him to know that he can do the job.
“As well as that, if you’re in a little bit of trouble, he can go and do a really good job at centre-half as well.”
United need to have patience in the market and Parker will find himself in similar circumstances waiting for the right catch, as he’s set to participate in BT Sport’s Angling Outlaws in early 2022 where he, and other ex-professionals, will be trained by multi-world champion winning anglers in a six-part series.
However, Parker was quick to identify one significant difference between landing the right catch in a transfer market and netting the right catch with a fishing rod.
“The difference is with transfers, you can throw money at it and sometimes you will get your way, whereas with fishing, it doesn’t matter how bait you throw out, it isn’t going to make that much difference.
“It’s about how you prepare. It is patience, which I’m not blessed with to be perfectly honest. There will be three ex-pros around, so it will add more to it, more humour, rather than you being there on your own and it being a quiet day.”