Gary Neville warns Man Utd against spending £100m on top Arsenal, Chelsea midfield target who should have £65m cap
Gary Neville has warned his old club Manchester United that they should not be spending in excess of £100million on an Arsenal and Chelsea midfield target this summer.
Declan Rice is finally expected to quit West Ham at the end of the current campaign, with United, Arsenal and Chelsea all expected to be in the mix to snap up the England holding midfield star.
However, the Hammers will demand a massive fee for the player whose contract runs until 2024, with the option of a further year.
Prior to their 3-1 loss at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, Red Devils legend Roy Keane accused Rice of not having the all-round game to match his high valuation and that he needs to improve his play more.
And now Neville agrees with the assessment and also thinks their should be a cap on the price of defensive midfielders.
Rice, who appears more likely to join Arsenal than United, has scored twice and has three assist this season.
And Neville told Sky Sports News: “I heard what Roy said last night and I do agree with him,’ Neville told Sky Sports News.
“I love Declan Rice, but I’ve said this for a long time about him, and Jamie Carragher will tell you so. When we do Monday Night Football and West Ham play, we always have the tactical cam, which is the high camera.
“Obviously, Declan knows the position, but when I look at world-class holding midfielders, and players of that type, because Rice doesn’t score or assist enough goals, so you’re putting him into that category of more of a destroyer, you’ve then got to be someone who I think is highly competent on the ball and linking play, and having that knowledge of the subtleties of getting on the ball from the back four.
“I personally feel, at this moment in time, that Declan needs to go and work under a different set-up, he needs to drive forward in his career, he needs to go and play at a different club.
“That’s nothing against West Ham or David Moyes. I think he’s done a brilliant job with Declan Rice and he’s had a great few years.
“But for me, I wouldn’t be spending £110m or £120m on Rice if I was Manchester United this summer. I would spend £50m-60m on Declan Rice, but I wouldn’t spend the figures being reported because I feel in that position, I still feel like he’s got a lot of growth.”
Rice not worth more than £65m
Neville also thinks a £65m cap should be put on midfielders who do not really provide goals or assists.
“I know Chelsea have spent [£107m] on that position [for Enzo Fernandez], but I think the holding midfield player, the player who connects the back to the front and links play, to me that feels like a cap of £50m, £60m, maybe £65m,” added Neville.
“It doesn’t feel like a £100m position. If you’re spending £100m, you’ve got to have somebody who’s scoring 25 goals and getting 10 or 15 assists. That’s where £100m sit for me, even though the market gets destroyed and goes up every year in each position.
“I just feel like, if Declan Rice can go to another club and play a couple of years somewhere, that would be great.
“I want him to have a great career and I think he’s a brilliant lad, but I agree with some of Roy’s points that I think there’s a lot of growth, and a lot for Declan to do to get up to the levels of Casemiro, Rodri, and players at the top of the game in those positions.”
United are back in action on Sunday when they take on bitter rivals Liverpool in the Premier League.
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