‘It would be strange if Man Utd buy Declan Rice’ – Casemiro deal rules out £100m transfer raid on West Ham, claims Dimitar Berbatov

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Declan Rice West Ham 2022-23
Given that Manchester United already have Casemiro on their books, Dimitar Berbatov says it would be “strange” if they made a move for Declan Rice.
  • England midfielder impressing with Hammers
  • Is seeing summer move speculated on
  • Not expected to head for Old Trafford

WHAT HAPPENED? The England international midfielder is a player that is said to have registered on the Red Devils’ recruitment radar for some time, but no official approach has been made. It could be that Rice is on the move in 2023, as West Ham brace themselves for bids in the next transfer window, but Berbatov cannot see United joining the race for the 24-year-old’s signature – especially at £100 million-plus ($121m) – as they invested heavily in Brazil international Casemiro to fill their holding role in the summer of 2022.

WHAT THEY SAID: Former United striker Berbatov has told Betfred of the speculation that continues to rage at Old Trafford: “It all comes down to what the manager wants and how he sees the team in his head. Declan and Casemiro play in the same position, but the main difference between them is that one of them is 24 years old and the other is 30 years old. One is slowly going towards the end of their career and the other is not even in their prime yet and is producing football of great quality.

“Of course clubs are going to be after Declan Rice and the main thing that Declan will want from a new club is the promise that he’s going to play. If he went to Manchester United then he’s going to want to play, demand to play and he’s not going to want to sit on the bench. He won’t go to Manchester United if he believes there’s a chance that he may be a back-up to Casemiro. It would be strange if Manchester United buy Declan Rice considering that they’ve just bought Casemiro from Real Madrid. The only option you’d have would be to play them at the same time, but if you did that then you’d have to sacrifice another midfielder that plays a more advanced role up the pitch.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rice is only tied to a contract at West Ham until 2024, but that agreement does include the option for a further 12-month extension and it is that which is helping to keep his asking price high heading into what could be a pivotal transfer window in his career.


Declan Rice West Ham 2022-23

Casemiro Man Utd 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? Manchester United are likely to be busy again when freed to splash the cash once more – with a big-money takeover on the cards – but their main focus is considered to be the acquisition of another No.9, with the likes of Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen of Tottenham and Napoli respectively said to be in their sights.