Ferdinand asked if he'd take Arsenal target Rice or de Jong at Manchester United
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Ferdinand asked if he'd take Arsenal target Rice or de Jong at Manchester United

Rio Ferdinand has told his YouTube channel that he would take Arsenal target Declan Rice at Manchester United over Frenkie de Jong if given the choice between the two midfielders this summer.

The race for Rice’s signature is going to be one to keep a very close eye on at the end of the season. It looks highly likely, from the outside, that he may leave West Ham once the campaign concludes.

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The Times reported in January that Rice was a top target for Arsenal this summer. And the Premier League leaders were growing increasingly confident of winning the battle for the £80 million-rated England international.

Ferdinand says he’d take Rice over de Jong at Manchester United

However, there is rival interest. Manchester United also want the Hammers captain.

Photo by Sara Aribo/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Erik ten Hag’s side have taken a giant step forward this season. However, they remain a work in progress. And it would be no surprise to see them strengthen further in the middle of the park.

One player they have been linked with in the past is de Jong. And the Guardian reported earlier this month that United remain admirers of the Dutchman.

Ferdinand was asked whether he would prefer de Jong or Rice at Old Trafford. And the answer may well interest Arsenal supporters given the Gunners’ interest in the latter.

“If you’re looking at Barcelona, maybe you do go for [de Jong]. But, I don’t know, if you were Liverpool, I think Liverpool take Declan Rice before they take Frenkie de Jong,” he told his YouTube channel, assessing the options.

“In Manchester United’s team, Declan Rice. I think Declan Rice could play as an eight for a period of time until Casemiro says: ‘thanks, goodbye’.”

Arsenal have put themselves in a position where they do not necessarily have to fear rivals for their targets. Previously, the idea of Manchester United being in the race would have been really worrying.

However, Mikel Arteta’s side are now a different animal. They lead the way in the Premier League this season. And they are almost certainly going to be back in the Champions League next year.

Manchester United cannot be taken lightly if they make a big play for Rice. Arsenal still need to prove that they can replicate what they have achieved this year.

But there is absolutely no question that Arsenal have probably not been in with a better chance of landing his signature.

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