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Manchester United squad ‘wanted and expected’ club to sign Declan Rice and Harry Kane


Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag was also left disappointed (Pictures: Getty)

The Manchester United squad was left disappointed by the club’s failure to sign Declan Rice and Harry Kane last summer, according to reports.

United were heavily linked with the England pair but missed out on both, with Rice leaving West Ham to join Arsenal and Kane moving to Bayern Munich from Tottenham.

Both Rice and Kane went on to enjoy superb first seasons at their new clubs, the former helping Arsenal challenge for the Premier League title and the latter banging in 44 goals in 45 games for Bayern.

Erik ten Hag, who will keep his job at Old Trafford despite intense speculation over his future, pushed for United to sign Kane but his bosses decided not to enter the transfer race, deeming a potential negotiation with Tottenham to be too difficult and viewing Kane as over-priced.

Manchester United instead bolstered Ten Hag’s attacking options with the signing of Rasmus Hojlund but the Denmark striker endured an underwhelming first season in the Premier League.

The Athletic claim that several players at Old Trafford ‘wanted and expected’ Kane to arrive last summer, with Casemiro of the opinion that the England captain would take the team to the next level following a third-place finish.

Likewise, many United players are said to have backed Ten Hag’s move for Rice this time last year and while the Red Devils did eventually contact West Ham about a possible move, Arsenal were already way ahead in negotiations by that point.

Harry Kane joined Bayern Munich while Declan Rice moved to Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Ten Hag targeted Rice in the summer of 2022 and revived his interest in the midfielder 12 months later only to see the 25-year-old move to Manchester United’s Premier League rivals Arsenal.

It is claimed Ten Hag also met Paris Saint-Germain and France forward Randal Kolo Muani about a proposed move to the Theatre of Dreams but ultimately deciding against a move, while he still wishes he was somehow able to bring Frenkie de Jong to United.

Old Trafford hero Teddy Sheringham recently slammed his former club for not signing Rice and Kane and said is showed a ‘damning lack of ambition’.

‘I said at the start of the season, it was a damning lack of ambition for a club of Manchester United’s size not to be in the hunt for Harry Kane and Declan Rice,’ he told Genting Casino

Casemiro reportedly wanted United to sign Harry Kane (Picture: Getty)

‘In the old days, Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson] would have snapped both of those players up. These are two top, top players at Premier League and international level. 

‘Fergie would have been in for both of them. You’re not just getting the player with Kane and Rice, you’re getting the professionalism, the winning mentality, you’re getting leadership. 

‘These guys drag players along with them and set your standards. There isn’t a single player doing that at Manchester United at the moment. 

‘Everyone is looking at each other and saying, “I’m doing my job, what about you?” and that’s not you need if you want to win titles. 

‘Leaders don’t do that. Even if they’re not having a great game, they have the presence and the talent to lift everyone else around them. 

‘They get you through games and you pick up results in matches where you weren’t necessarily the best team because of the leadership qualities your experienced players demonstrate. 

‘When those two players weren’t even on the radar for Manchester United, it’s was a wake-up call. Wow! How times have changed at the football club.’

Despite recording their lowest-ever Premier League finish last season, United have decided to stick with Ten Hag, who produced an upset in the FA Cup final to secure his second trophy since moving to England in 2022.

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