Three Declan Rice alternatives Manchester United can sign for free to save millions – George Smith

The opening of the January transfer window is now just a few days away and all eyes will be on Manchester United to see if they strengthen their squad ahead of the second half of the campaign.

United, who were forced to settle for a point against relegation-threatened Newcastle United on Monday night at St James’ Park, were Premier League headlines during the summer transfer window, squirting north for £ 120 million to sign Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho. and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The additions of these three were intended to strengthen United’s chances of challenging the Premier League title again. But given that at the time of writing they are 19 points behind table-toppers Manchester City, it is fair to say that their plan has not worked out as anyone would have hoped.

With that said, United are expected to strengthen their squad next month with a solid midfielder, as reported by Manchester Evening News set to be their first priority. West Ham United star Declan Rice remains their dream signing to fill that role, but Londoners are set to demand more than £ 100 million for his signature.

But even though United are keen to strengthen that area of ​​the team in January, they could make a bargain by agreeing a prior deal with several players ahead of this summer’s transfer window, where they would complete a switch to Old Trafford for free. .

With that in mind, MEN Sports has taken a closer look at three players that United could turn to next month to discuss a pre-contract deal with before signing them next summer in preparation for the 2022/23 promotion.

Boubacar Kamara

Already on the lips of several United supporters, Marseille midfielder Kamara is without a contract in June and is already linked with a switch away from the Ligue 1 club.

At the age of just 22, the Frenchman is considered to be one of the very best in the industry in his special role, and the holding midfield is, of course, an area that United are desperate to strengthen.

Kamara is capable of pushing opponents, stealing possession back and setting off attacks, and boasts all the qualities needed to get directly into a Ralf Rangnick-type team.

He is already linked with several clubs across Europe, including United, and will no doubt be available in a deal at a reduced price in January due to his contract status.

But if United are prepared to wait for his arrival this summer, they can sign him for free by wiping out personal terms in January, with non-English-based players free to discuss terms with next month’s Premier League clubs.

Franck Kessie

Despite AC Milan being desperate to retain his services, Kessie looks set to leave the Italian heavyweights when his contract expires at the end of the season.

AC Milan star Franck Kessie is out of contract at the end of the season.
AC Milan star Franck Kessie is out of contract at the end of the season.

It is rumored that the contract negotiations have stalled between the two parties and Milan have been forced to admit defeat in their fight to keep him.

Kessie has gone from strength to strength during his four-year stint at the San Siro, and has become one of the most important components of Rossoneri’s team.

Kessie is able to sit deep, keep things neat and tidy and win the ball back, and Kessie is also able to run forward and hit with goals, as highlighted by his numbers on 14 last season and five in this campaign until continue.

Kessie is also at a good age, recently turned 25 years old. Given that he has been such a strong presence for Milan in Serie A in recent years, he could be an ideal signing for United to strengthen their midfield options, certainly on a free transfer.

Denis Zakaria

Most likely well known by Rangnick due to his expert knowledge in the Bundesliga, Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Zakaria is also without a contract at the end of the season.

The 25-year-old, who is currently valued at £ 24.3 million of transfer market, could be the ideal long-term solution to United’s defensive midfield problems. A defensively solid midfielder who is not afraid to poke a boot in and roll up his sleeves, Zakaria would bring a wealth of experience to Old Trafford, despite only celebrating his 25th birthday in November.

Having been in Mönchengladbach’s books since 2017, the Swiss national team player continues to go from strength to strength in the Bundesliga, so much so that he is considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the German top class.

Furthermore, Mönchengladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl confirmed back in July that the midfielder was pushing to leave the club, which strengthened United’s prospects of getting him on a free transfer.

“With Denis, we have been trying to extend his contract since October,” said Eberl, as quoted by Goal. “Denis and his management told us quite clearly that they would prefer a transfer this summer.”

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