“Take Harry Maguire’s armband off…”

Manchester United target Declan Rice could be the ‘perfect leader’ for the club in the future, says journalist DeanJones.

Premier League - Arsenal v Manchester United

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Premier League – Arsenal v Manchester United

The Red Devils have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old in recent months after several outstanding performances for club and country.

What’s the latest on Rice?

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Rice has turned down a third offer of a new contract from West Ham in recent days and is open to a move this summer.

The terms are claimed to have made him the highest-paid player in the capital club’s history, with the England international earning around £200,000 a week had he signed on the dotted line.

However, Rice still has two years left on his existing contract, with the West Ham hierarchy given the option to extend his stay for a further 12 months.

However, the defensive-minded midfielder has no intention of committing his long-term future to the east London side and has previously stressed his ‘urgent’ desire to win silverware and play in the Champions League.

A number of clubs, including United, Manchester City and Chelsea, are known to be interested in Rice, but West Ham manager David Moyes has stressed his prized asset is “not for sale”.

“£150m at the moment would be the minimum, but he’s not for sale. What I know is that means there are only certain clubs who might even consider him” , Moyes said.

What did Jones say about Rice?

United are currently having a difficult season, with much criticism aimed at club captain Harry Maguire, and Jones believes the 20-time English champions should ‘take the armband off’ the defender and ‘give it’ to Rice.

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He told GiveMeSport: “MaleChester United need something, and to be honest they also need a leader. And Declan Rice has the traits to be the perfect defensive midfielder for them, and the perfect leader for them.

“Take the armband off Harry Maguire, give it to Declan Rice, bring some unity and some conviction and just one voice on this pitch that fears no one.”

Would Rice be a good signing for United?

Rice has captained West Ham on numerous occasions over the past two campaigns, underscoring his leadership qualities, but he brings more than just a commanding voice to the team.

According to FBref, he has completed 6.71 passes that enter the final third of the field every 90 minutes this season, while also achieving 7.41 progressive carries and 2.78 interceptions.

Those numbers top the totals for United pair Scott McTominay and Fred, indicating Rice could solve some of the club’s midfield problems under new manager Erik ten Hag next season.