Man Utd could look to Declan Rice as the final piece of the puzzle for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Ed Woodward eyes one last big transfer before his departure
A few months is a long time in football.
It feels like just yesterday that Ed Woodward and the Glazer family were feeling the wrath of Manchester United fans in the wake of the European Super League debacle.
The aftermath saw Woodward announce he would be stepping down from his role as executive vice-chairman at the end of 2021 after an eventful few years.
Joel Glazer, meanwhile, made a promise to fans to invest in world-class players and help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to guide the Red Devils back to the top.
Fast forward to Deadline Day and that promise has largely been met, with the remarkable signing of Cristiano Ronaldo adding to big-money summer signings Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
In what is set to be his last summer window, Woodward and his team have delivered on United’s priority targets whilst landing Ronaldo as a welcome bonus.
It has left Solskjaer with a squad which will be the envy of many rivals, albeit with one piece of the jigsaw left.
Whilst a late move for a defensive midfielder does not seem to be on the cards this window, it has been widely reported that the position has been identified as the final piece needed for Solskjaer’s side.
According to the Independent, the Red Devils accept they may have to wait until next summer to try and land top target Declan Rice.
As they were with Jadon Sancho, United will have to be patient in their bid to bring in Rice from West Ham, and he certainly will not come cheap.
But, just as the Sancho deal was months in the making, Woodward will no doubt look to set the wheels in motion before his departure at the end of the year.
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And with the Glazers’ promise to supply adequate funds so far coming to fruition, he could well have the tools and budget to make it happen.
Even if attentions turn elsewhere and Rice is not the priority target, Woodward will have the tools to pursue whoever Solskjaer wants to fill his defensive midfield role.
Whilst Woodward has come in for plenty of criticism during his stint in charge of United transfers, he could be set to go out with a bang.
The signings of Varane, Sancho and Ronaldo in a single window appears set to go down as a major success.
And if he can put things in place to land Rice or an alternative as a parting gift, then he could depart having helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer piece together his ideal side with the Glazers’ renewed financial backing.