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The best defensive midfield transfer targets for Man Utd

Manchester United have been tipped to sign a new defensive midfielder for some time, but there has been no transfer activity from the club.

Despite this, there remains plenty of transfer speculation, considering the Red Devils are bound to look for reinforcements at some point this year.

With the transfer window closing on Monday, there is little time to pursue an ideal signing while clubs could also be reluctant to lose their players mid-season.

The Red Devils may potentially wait until the summer for a rebuild. Here are some of the best defensive midfielders the club could consider recruiting.

Declan Rice – West Ham United

Rice has developed into one of the Premier League’s most consistent holding midfielders and has taken his game to the next level since being handed the captaincy.

In recent years, the 23-year-old has established himself in the centre of the park, and there has been a noticeable improvement this term with his driving runs and key goalscoring contributions.

He has three goals and four assists to his name from 28 appearances. The England star scored with a stunning solo run against Dinamo Zagreb, which is the big highlight of his season.

Considering his all-round performances lately, the Hammers are bound to command a hefty fee of upwards of £80 million if he decides to move on during the summer transfer window.

Ruben Neves – Wolverhampton Wanderers

Similar to Rice, Neves has been another long-term target for the Red Devils. The Portuguese has been almost ever-present with Wolves and has impressed with his ability to win key tackles.

The 24-year-old’s work rate remains one of his big positives while he has chipped in with valuable goals. The midfielder is also good from dead-ball situations, but he has been less successful lately.

Despite this, he continues to be highly regarded among rival Premier League clubs. Aside from United, Liverpool and Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in the former Porto graduate.

Neves’ current deal with Wolves expires in June 2024. He has expressed his happiness to stay, but a summer exit could be on the cards for around £35m if there is a contract stand-off.

Boubacar Kamara – Marseille

Kamara’s deal with Marseille expires at the end of the campaign. The Frenchman has made it clear that he won’t extend his stay, and the club could take the opportunity to sell him this month.

United are one of the clubs that have been associated with the versatile midfielder, who can also play in central defence just like Rice. Kamara prefers to have the ball at his feet and tends to win regular duels.

The 22-year-old has averaged 61 passes per game in the current Ligue 1 campaign, which is significantly more than Fred (51) or Scott McTominay (40) have managed for the Red Devils this season.

He could be prised away for £10m plus £150,000-per-week in wages this month, but United could also look to negotiate a pre-contract deal for a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

Bruno Guimaraes – Lyon

There has been plenty of gossip around Guimaraes’ future in recent days. The midfielder was deemed to be on his way to Newcastle United yesterday after a fee of around £33m was agreed.

However, Lyon have categorically dismissed the reports in the media, but he could still move on at some point. Guimaraes is a long-term target for rivals Arsenal, but United are also keeping a close eye on him.

The Brazilian has registered 44 tackles in Ligue 1 this term, more than any other midfielder. He also ranks first in terms of passes in the final third (150) and successful through balls (10).

While he generally plays as the holding midfielder, the 24-year-old has been a key creative presence for Les Gones. He is only entering the prime of his career and could be eyeing a bigger challenge.

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