Declan Rice is Manchester United’s number one defensive midfield target for the coming transfer windows.
That’s according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, who has not named Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips as a potential target for the Red Devils.
It was reported earlier this week by the Daily Star that Manchester United have ended their interest in Rice due to West Ham’s valuation of the midfielder.
Instead, the report claimed that the Old Trafford club have made fellow England international Phillips, their first choice target to add to their options in defensive midfield.
However, it seems that Romano believes differently. Speaking on the Rio Ferdinand presents Five Podcast, Romano claimed that Rice is still United’s first choice target.
That he says, is down to the fact that Rice fits the club’s style perfectly, and that they have been chasing a deal for the West Ham man for some time now.
Romano also named two alternative targets to Rice for the Red Devils. Neither of those was Phillips, was Wolves’ Ruben Neves, and Aurelien Tchouameni of Monaco the other duo identified.
This will no doubt be a relief for those of a Leeds United persuasion.
Losing Phillips would inevitably be a blow if it happened, but losing him to Manchester United would be even an bigger one, given the rivalry between the two.
It seems however, as though that is unlikely to happen at this moment in time, with the Red Devils seemingly still looking at other options to fill the void in the heart of their midfield.
That may be somewhat surprising given what Phillips could offer them, but that is unlikely to be much of a concern for those associated with Leeds if it enables them to keep him on a longer-term basis.