Manchester United warned off Declan Rice signing as West Ham legend makes key comparison

England: Declan Rice and Ben Chilwell show skills in training

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Manchester United have been warned not to sign West Ham United’s Declan Rice because he is “too similar” to Red Devils midfielder Scott McTominay.

Rice has continuously been linked with moves away from the London Stadium in recent years, with Chelsea and United keen to bolster their central midfield ranks with the England international.

However, former West Ham striker Frank McAvennie feels that both players perform the same defensive midfield role.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should therefore hold off taking the £80m rated 22-year-old, according to the 61-year-old.

“I think McTominay has been doing a wonderful job for them, and he would do the exact same job as to what Rice would do,” McAvennie told Football FanCast.

“I’m not saying McTominay is better or vice-versa, but they are very similar players and by all accounts they love McTominay up there. He goes about his business and doesn’t make any headlines.

“So, unless you want to play the two of them… but they’re too similar. Could he get in the Man United team? Of course he can.”

Rice had been a permanent fixture in the West Ham midfield until he suffered a knee injury while on international duty at the end of March.

He has not featured for the Hammers since their 3-3 draw with Arsenal on 21 March.

Meanwhile, McTominay has become a key part of Solskjaer’s United team and has formed a fruitful midfield partnership with Fred.

The Scotland international has played 44 times in all competitions and has even chipped in with seven goals from a deep midfield position.

The last of those came in the 1-0 FA Cup victory over Rice’s West Ham in February.

Last week, McTominay drew praise from former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who spotted the 24-year-old while playing as a striker in his youth.

The 79-year-old, who won 13 league titles and two Champions League across a 26-year spell as boss, compared McTominay to former Old Trafford favourite Darren Fletcher.

“McTominay is now emerging as one of Man United’s big players,” Ferguson said in talk with the Scottish FA.

“When you watch Man Utd pick a team for a big game, McTominay is in it. Good character, great trainer, I know a little bit about the boy.

“I signed him when he was seven or eight. He was actually a centre-forward as a kid.

“He has sprouted, a little bit like Darren when he first came.

“McTominay is a similar type as Darren, long, lanky, good winner of the ball, good turn of pace going forward, great attitude to the game.

“It’s really rewarding for me to see a Scot coming through.”

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