Why Manchester United think they can hijack Chelsea deal

Manchester United are hoping to blow up Chelsea’s long standing interest in Declan Rice by making a move for the midfielder this summer.

That’s according to the Evening Standard, who say that the midfielder is a top target for the Red Devils this summer as new manager Erik Ten Hag looks to rebuild a broken squad.

Chelsea have had their iron in the fire for the longest when it comes to Rice, but they’ve got a lot to sort out given the sanctions on the club and the departure of two of their senior defenders.

The feeling is that the Blues have so much on their plate that organising the £100m or so deal to sign Rice might be beyond them, while United have nothing to play for this season and are already focused on their summer activity.

We would hope that Rice’s desire to play for Chelsea means he’s willing to hold out – but we can’t deny United would be tempting for him.

Chelsea’s Predicted Lineup against Manchester United | Starting XI

Chelsea will have their top four hopes in mind when they make travels to Old Trafford on Thursday night to square up against Manchester United.

Thomas Tuchel’s men marked a return to winning ways over the past weekend with a narrow 1-0 win over West Ham United thanks to a late strike from Christian Pulisic.

Let us now have a look at how Thomas Tuchel might set up his Chelsea side against Man United:

Edouard Mendy will be poised to start between the goalposts for the visitors Chelsea with the Senegal international hoping to post another clean sheet.

At the back, expect both Andreas Christensen and Reece James to push for recalls into the first XI after minor injuries left them sidelined for the West Ham United clash.

N’Golo Kante should pair up with Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the heart of the midfield with the latter likely to retain his berth on the team sheet on the back of his stellar displays.

Kai Havertz should be joined by Timo Werner in the attacking third of the pitch with the German duo poised to be joined by last match’s hero Pulisic.

Man Utd predicted lineup vs Chelsea (4-2-3-1)

David de Gea (GK) – United’s European hopes would already be dead if it wasn’t for De Gea’s heroics.

Diogo Dalot (RB) – Aaron Wan-Bissaka is dealing with a mystery issue which will see him face a late fitness test, so it’s hard to see him starting ahead of Dalot.

Raphael Varane (CB) – Hasn’t really lived up to the hype this season and is facing his first year without Champions League football since 2010/11.

Victor Lindelof (CB) – Harry Maguire has a knee problem and won’t reclaim his spot in the squad from Lindelof.

Alex Telles (LB) – Telles has struggled of late but Luke Shaw isn’t available to replace him.

Scott McTominay (DM) – McTominay wanted United to ‘show some balls’ after the Arsenal defeat. Here’s their first chance to do so (hopefully not literally).

Nemanja Matic (DM) – Injuries to Paul Pogba and Fred mean Matic is in line for another start.

Anthony Elanga (RM) – Probably the only positive to come out of this season, Elanga will need to be at his best here.

Bruno Fernandes (AM) – Fernandes is without either a goal or an assist in his last seven Premier League games.

Marcus Rashford (LM) – There’ll be no Jadon Sancho due to tonsillitis, so expect Rashford to get the nod on the left.

Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – You can’t help but feel that Ronaldo will need to be on top form if United are going to get out of this one with all three points.

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