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Rice to Man Utd for £90m? Neville not sure West Ham midfielder is worth the money

15:57 WAT 17/09/2019
Declan Rice West Ham United 2019-20
The England international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but a former Red Devils defender is not convinced he is the finished article

Declan Rice has been mooted as a potential £90 million ($112m) transfer target for Manchester United, but Gary Neville is not convinced that the West Ham midfielder is worth that much just yet.

The 20-year-old Hammers academy graduate has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence over the course of the last 12 months.

Moving out of defence in Manuel Pellegrini’s plans and into a holding role has allowed Rice to attract admiring glances from Premier League heavyweights while establishing a place in the England squad.

United are among those said to be closely monitoring his progress, with the Red Devils placing plenty of emphasis on the pursuit and capture of home-grown talent.

Neville can see the potential in Rice that would appeal to his former club, but told Sky Sports when quizzed on the youngster’s reported asking price: “I mean you talk about £80m, £90m to get him out of West Ham.

“We’ve seen a bid for [Wilfried] Zaha go to Everton this year for £70m. To get players out of the likes of West Ham now, Crystal Palace, it is not going to be easy. It is going to cost a fortune.

“Would I say yes now at 80 million, 90 million? I’m not feeling that personally at this moment in time, but am I seeing a really good player who could potentially develop into something fantastic for the next 10 years? Yes. I really do think that.

“But do United need another player? They’ve already got [Nemanja] Matic, they’ve already got [Scott] McTominay who are doing a similar role to what I see Rice doing.”

In Neville’s eyes Rice still has some way to go before he can be considered to be at the same level as the very best in the business, such as Liverpool’s Brazil international Fabinho.

The United legend added: “You talk about England, World Cups and European Championships, Premier League, Fabinho is absolutely sensational on the ball, [Sergio] Busquets is unbelievable on the ball.

“I think Fabinho at the moment is the best because what Fabinho does actually, he doesn’t sit back in games. These holding midfield players who just play horizontally, passing sideways, shuttling across, but Fabinho plays vertically as well.

“He goes forward with his passes, he moves forward and steps in and wins the ball back. I think the best holding midfield players aren’t just people who basically shuffle across and make it look simple, they also step into the game.

“It’s the ability of knowing where you are with your back to play. I played the odd game in midfield and it was awful, even when I was full-back and I ended up in midfield just out of position sometimes and someone plays a pass into you, you think, ‘Oh, what’s behind me?’

“The great players they know what’s over their shoulder, they receive it on the half turn, they take the ball to the right side when there’s a player coming from the other side.”