West Ham’s Declan Rice and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham would be “top of the list” of alternatives if Manchester United miss out on Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, according to The Athletic‘s Laurie Whitwell.
However, the reliable journalist claims that both players are not available this summer, and the Red Devils would much rather secure the services of de Jong, who is their “preeminent choice”:
Brutal truth to managing #MUFC has arrived for Erik ten Hag. Distractions mounting.
Execs retain hope on De Jong but season to start without main target.
Ronaldo issues remain despite him doing PL media day.
Competition for Sesko, more talks ahead.https://t.co/kPcg8VDDss
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) August 4, 2022
Rice is believed to be valued at a whopping £150m by West Ham, while a deal for Bellingham is likely to cost in the region of €120m (£100m), so both would cost more than de Jong.
United have already agreed an €85m (£71m) fee for the Dutchman but there are serious concerns that he will reject a move to Old Trafford in favour of a switch to Chelsea.
The Blues have stepped up their interest in the midfielder in recent days, although Whitwell claims United still believe the player would be prepared to join the Manchester club. We shall have to see how this story plays out.