Manchester United have been linked with several signing in recent weeks, especially with the January transfer window now open.
One player who is rumoured to be a ‘top target’ for the club is West Ham United’s Declan Rice, with the 22-year-old already being recognised as on of England’s most-promising midfielders.
Rice, who has been a pivotal part of the Hammers’ league display this campaign, is said to be considering a move away from the club if they fail to achieve a top-four finish come May.
According to reports from The Sun, United have been boosted in the race to sign the England international due to West Ham’s form of late.
The Hammers, who have endured a mixed run of late, are under no illusions that the midfielder is attracting attention, especially with his standout performances.
However, Rice has two years remaining on his contract with at the London Stadium and they are not in a position to sell their star player anytime soon, with the club reportedly putting a £100m price tag on his head.
This valuation could cause the Red Devils and other interested teams to look elsewhere, with several alternatives in the frame for Ralf Rangnick’s side.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some cheaper alternatives that United could look to pursue instead of Rice.
One player who United could look to as an alternative to Rice is Boubacar Kamara. The Marseille midfielder is rumoured to be a target of the Red Devils, according to The Athletic.
The 22-year-old’s contract with Marseille expires at the end of the season, so a cut-price deal could be struck with United.
Kamara is said to have several clubs interested in him, with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Roma monitoring his situation.
The Frenchman, like Rice, is a holding-midfielder and would add much needed competition for places at Old Trafford.
Another name United could look to sign as an alternative to Rice is Amadou Haidara. The Mali international is no stranger to Rangnick, having worked with the German at RB Leipzig.
A move for the 23-year-old could materialise given the relationship between Rangnick and Haidara.
This, plus his reported £33m release clause, only makes sense for the Red Devils to pursue, especially with his style of play matching that of Rangnick.
Donny van de Beek
The final alternative is none other than current United midfielder Donny van de Beek, who is in his second season with the club.
The Dutchman has made minimal appearances for the Red Devils in this period, but despite his lack of game time, could potentially be the ideal alternative to Rice.
Van de Beek has the ability to be a key figure in United’s squad and with no fee needed to be paid for him, it would be interesting to see, if given sufficient minutes, how well he would fare.