Gary Neville reckons that Declan Rice would cost Manchester United between £80m and £90m, and Jamie Carragher has said that the player would improve the Red Devils’ midfield.
The pair made the comments on Monday Night Football’s coverage of the goalless draw between Aston Villa and West Ham United. Rice impressed in the Premier League tie, helping the Hammers earn a point despite playing the final quarter of the game with 10 men after Arthur Masuaku was sent-0ff.
Following the game, Neville was asked by Carragher if he would take the England midfielder at Old Trafford.
Neville was not sure, saying he still has some improving to do, but stated that, should Man United try to sign him, it would cost them a significant sum.
Carragher said that he wouldn’t pay £90m for a holding midfielder, but he believes that within 18-months Rice will be good enough to play for a club in the Champions League. The former Liverpool defender said Rice was already good enough to play ahead of Nemanja Matic for Man United.
You can watch the pair here:
— Sky Sports MNF (@SkySportsMNF) September 16, 2019
Neville also said the former Republic of Ireland international has to make a “little bit of a jump” to reach the level of elite holding midfielders such as Fabinho and Sergio Busquets. But he believes Rice has the potential to do so.
“I’m always sceptical about a player moving from centre-back to central midfield, and what they become,” he said.
“I think he’s a really good holding midfielder, he’s doing brilliantly for West Ham, he’s hugely ahead of where he would be in terms of expectation, playing for England as well and he’s obviously a really good type in terms of his character and work ethic.”
“But is he a good central midfield player in the Premier League? He’s been alongside Mark Noble who’s had a great year over 10-12 years, has been a great performer, and the lads he mentioned talking to us – Busquets, Fernandinho – and to get up to that, he’s just got that little bit of a jump to make.
“To be good enough on the ball, as a midfielder, at the top level – England, World Cup level, Premier League, Fabinho is sensational on the ball. Busquets is unbelievable.”