Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has praised Declan Rice amid interest from United in the midfielder.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are keen on landing Rice from West Ham this summer, although the Hammers are determined not to sell.
Their ability to retain Rice ‘s signature will have increased with the club having secured Europa League qualification for next season, which will make it harder for a move to Old Trafford to occur.
On top of that, any transfer would be delayed until after England’s involvement in the European Championship – a situation that is likely to be a familiar scene for United in the market this summer.
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Speaking ahead of England’s campaign at the tournament though, Mourinho heaped praise on the 22-year-old and identified what he can bring to his side.
“First of all, I like the boy. I like what he shows me. He is mature, calm, a team player who doesn’t think about himself. He always has the correct answers and gives incredible stability to the team,” he told The Times.
“It is one thing to play in the qualification phase, where you play against teams where you don’t need balance to beat any team 5-0, but when you get to the final phases you play against good teams with good attacking players and then you need balance.
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“A team without balance is not a team. Rice is this kind of player. If you have a good back four or back three with a player like Rice in front, England can have more attacking freedom.”
Rice is one of Gareth Southgate’s first-choice midfielders heading into the tournament and will be a key player in the group stage against Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic.
Since making his debut in March 2019, Rice has earned 17 caps for England.