Manchester United’s incoming manager should prioritise the signing of two England midfielders this summer, according to former Chelsea and Celtic star Craig Burley.
United are set to appoint a permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the season. Ralf Rangnick is currently in interim charge of the Red Devils.
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Rice turned down an offer of a new contract with West Ham earlier this season.
He still has two-and-a-half years remaining on his current deal.
Burley believes the 23-year-old should be one of United’s priorities this summer.
He also reckons Rice’s midfield partner at international level, Kalvin Phillips, should be targeted by the incoming United boss.
“I don’t know what the scenario is with Declan Rice but the answer would be ‘yes’,” Burley said on ESPN FC’s Extra Time.
“If I was managing a club in the state of Man United, with their player pull, [Rice] along with the likes of Kalvin Phillips, just looking in England, and young players who are very good at their job, those kind of players would be seriously high on my list, trying to push it through.
“I don’t know if they’ve got something lined up for the summer or not but they certainly need players in that position. Not one, probably two.”
Rice’s Hammers side currently sit fifth in the Premier League table.
However, they failed to make any signings in January despite having a number of targets.
QPR striker Charlie Austin believes Rice will want to leave in the summer if West Ham fail to qualify for the Champions League.
“I’m saying West Ham have a better chance, come the summer, keeping hold of Declan Rice with them making the top four than what they do without,” Austin told talkSPORT.
“If they don’t make top four, it’s likely Declan Rice is going to leave.
“If they went and got a striker, or strikers, to help them get into the top four, and they achieve that, it’s more likely Declan Rice will stay at West Ham.
“This is West Ham’s time to really go and push on, sign someone to stamp it and say ‘we’re going to have a right go, we’re going to try and get into the Champions League’.”
“If they don’t get Champions League football, he is going to leave.”