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Man United identify alternative to Declan Rice; club asking for £75 million

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Manchester United have sounded a move for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse but the Saints are demanding £75 million to begin talks.

United are on the verge of losing half of their first choice midfield with the imminent exits of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic especially expected to leave a gaping hole in the team.

They have been linked to West Ham United’s Declan Rice for most of the season but The Hammers, in a bid to scare suitors away, have slapped a British record price tag of £150 million on the 23-year-old midfielder. United could also enter a bidding war with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool if they choose to knock on West Ham’s door with the amount.

Putting all these into consideration, it is understandable that United begin to sound out moves for other targets. The latest is 27-year-old Ward-Prowse, who has been phenomenal for for Southampton this season.

The Saints academy graduate will cost £75 million according to the club. Ward-Prowse will prove an astute midfield signing as he is very versatile in the midfield as he can comfortably cover in deep and more advanced roles.

The 27-year-old is also well known for his expertise from set pieces – he has scored four direct free kicks this season and for the second time in his Southampton career – and has whipped in some great balls which have led to goals or assists for goals for the club this season

United would save significant cash by moving for Ward-Prowse, but his age may prove a barrier as they contemplate the move. They could also be facing a bidding war with Manchester City after reports emerged that Pep Guardiola likes the player and is sounding him out to replace the departing Fernandinho in the summer.

Elsewhere, incoming Man United manager has decided upon his first signing of his new tenure.

Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia is the reported target as ten Hag plans a squad clearout. The 22-year-old will cost £20 million and the club has scouted him on the orders of ten Hag.

No moves have been made yet but reports claim that United will move for the young defender once the season ends.

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