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Manchester United have identified their two transfer priorities for next summer – with Declan Rice on the shortlist.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side enjoyed a sensational end to the transfer window when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo from under the noses of neighbours Man City.
After also bringing in Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane as well as Tom Heaton, the Premier League giants can be pretty satisfied with their summer business.
Many fans were disappointed United didn't bring in a holding midfielder, especially after Fred was exposed against the pace of Adama Traore during their barely deserved 1-0 win over Wolves.
But Red Devils bosses are already hard at work plotting another spending spree next summer – and this time Declan Rice is on their wanted list.
And despite the return of Ronaldo, Solskjaer's side will also target a striker, with Erling Haaland's £68million release clause set to become active.
United are big admirers of West Ham star Rice, but opted against spending on their engine room this summer, according to ESPN.
The publication says Solskjaer and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward were aware of fans' feelings about the need for a new midfielder, but had identified a winger and a centre-back as the top priorities.
That saw the summer budget spent on Sancho and Varane – while the funds to secure Ronaldo's return came from outside the transfer kitty.
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A striker and a midfielder are now the top targets for next summer, with Rice on a shortlist that will be whittled down this season.
Haaland is another player who could be on United's radar, with Europe's top clubs expected to join the race for the Borussia Dortmund hotshot when his release clause comes into play at the end of this season.
They could also land another blow on rivals City by targeting Harry Kane, who decided to stay at Tottenham after Pep Guardiola's side had pursued him all summer.
United are likely to face tough competition if they decide Rice is their man for midfield, with Chelsea also keen on the 22-year-old, who began his youth career with the Stamford Bridge side.
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But any club hoping to land the England international will have to splash out, as the Hammers are believed to value him at more than £80million.
As for the player himself, it was reported by 90min last week that Rice expects this season to be his last at West Ham.
The revelation follows a report from The Telegraph back in July that the midfielder had turned down two offers of a new contract.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Harry Kane
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Premier League
- Manchester United FC
- West Ham FC
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