Why Paul Merson thinks Manchester United should ‘break the bank’ for Declan Rice this summer

The Red Devils face competition from Chelsea and Manchester City for the 23-year-old at the end of the season.

Declan Rice has been linked with a move to Manchester United for some time and is said to be a target of the club in the summer, according to reports.

The 23-year-old has been one of West Ham United’s key players for the last four-and-a-half seasons, but his time with the East London side could come to an end before the new season.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson thinks the midfielder will ‘be gone’ this summer and United should ‘break the bank’ in order to sign him.

"I think Declan Rice will be gone this summer," Merson told Sky Sports. “I think it will be Man United, if you’re Man United you’ve got to break the bank.

Declan Rice of West Ham United runs with the ball during the UEFA Europa League (Photo by Frederic Scheidemann/Getty Images)

"If you look at their midfield it is not strong enough, they don’t dominate football matches and for me, they have to go and get him.”

Merson continued by praising Rice for his improvement in recent years and dubbed the England international the ‘best in the business’.

"I think he is the best in the business, he has improved immensely, he has taken his game up not one or two, I think he has taken it up ten-fold.

"From a holding midfield player, he is bombing forward, scoring goals, getting chances, and making goals. I can’t talk highly enough of the lad, I think he’s been absolutely phenomenal.”

Newcastle United should target England and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, according to Rio Ferdinand. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The Red Devils face competition for the midfielder’s signature with Chelsea and Manchester City also interested in him.

Merson believes Thomas Tuchel’s side don’t need to sign Rice this summer due to their strength in midfield, but United do.

"Chelsea could go and get him but they could do without him. They’ve still got Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante - three unbelievable midfield players and they dominate football matches.

"But you look at Man United and the midfield isn’t strong enough to win anything really."

Rice will have two years left on his contract at the end of the season and could cost the Red Devils as much as £100m if they want to bring him to Old Trafford, as per Sky Sports.

However, if Chelsea were to come in for the 23-year-old this summer, it would be hard for him to turn them down due to supporting the club since a young age and being a former academy player there.