Three Declan Rice alternatives Manchester United could pursue in January transfer window – Omar Garrick

It feels as if Manchester United are gearing up for a busy winter transfer window, both with incomings and outgoings.

Ralf Rangnick has remained coy on talking about reported transfer target, and when asked about any potential arrivals by Sky Sports News, he said it was too early to get into that discussion;

He said: “[It’s] too early now,” he said. “The current squad is big enough, with a lot of competition in the squad.

“To speak about future players coming into the club doesn’t make sense at this stage when we have to find out which player is in which position, the best possible solution for every game.”

Despite Rangnick’s stance, one player continuously linked to United is West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

The England international once again put in an exceptional performance in the Irons’ 3-2 win over Crystal Palace, being at the centre of everything in the heart of midfield.

West Ham are rumoured to want up to £100million for his signature, and only Barcelona have ever paid more than that to sign someone in the winter (Philippe Coutinho).

United need a holding midfielder now to spearhead themselves into the top four, and Rangnick has already said it has to be the right player at the right price.

So, our United On My Mind writer, Omar Garrick, has listed three realistic Declan Rice alternatives that Manchester United could sign in the January transfer window.

Amadou Haidara

This is a move that could happen because it feels as if the player wants to join United.

Haidara is someone that fits the bill in every department. He can transition the ball from defence to attack, is more defensively-minded and has a great sense of tenacity about him.

Rangnick also knows the player from his time as Head of Sporting Development at Red Bull. He was the one who was integral in moving him from Salzburg to Leipzig.

Amadou Haidara of RB Leipzig looks on during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and DSC Arminia Bielefeld at Red Bull Arena on December 18, 2021 in Leipzig, Germany.
Haidara supported United as a child (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)

Haidara has reported to have a £33million release clause, and it feels like the ideal January signing, seeing as he also would probably be interested in a move.

“Everyone had a favourite team as a kid. Mine was Manchester United,” Haidara told Bild earlier this year, as quoted by the Metro.

“I was a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, I liked Paul Scholes, Patrice Evra, Edwin van der Sar, Anderson.

“But if you want to talk to me about rumours: I’m at Leipzig and I feel good.”

Boubacar Kamara

This feels like the cheapest alternative to Declan Rice because his contract runs out at the end of the season.

Kamara has done well during his time at Marseille and at 22 years of age, feels like the perfect Rangnick player.

Boubacar Kamara of Olympique de Marseille during the UEFA Europa League match between Galatasaray AS and Olympique Marseille at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi on November 25, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Kamara is a cheaper option for United (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

As per, Kamara has averaged 3.82 tackles and interceptions per 90 this season while also applying 15.9 pressures per game.

Seeing as his contract runs out in the summer, he could be available for a low price in the winter market, and United may see this as an opportunity to get a good deal at an affordable rate.

The club would undoubtedly welcome him, but I also feel like United would still need to sign another midfielder in the summer if he came. There need to be more senior targets to get the club back to the top.

Frenkie de Jong

This feels like the hardest signing to do, but United should try in the winter market due to Barcelona’s financial situation and the need to sell players.

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De Jong has struggled this season, but there’s no doubting his underlying qualities. At Ajax, he was at the heart of midfield, and Barca signed him to be the successor to Sergio Busquets. However, he’s rarely played in that role, often occupying the number eight position instead at the Camp Nou.

There have been reports that Xavi may decide to cash in on De Jong to raise some much-needed funds, but whether that’s possible in January remains to be seen.

He’d be my top pick because he fits United like a glove, and Rangnick would love a player like him, in my opinion.

He’ll cost a bit, but if he’s available, you have to go and get him!

Follow our United On My Mind writer Omar Garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.

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