I think the obsession with FDJ will take precedence, cannot see we would be in for both, I just hope we don't spend all summer pursuing FDJ again if it is a non-starter
I think Rice has many detractors on this forum, and obviously price tags come into it, but if we take price away, if we are playing 70ish games next season, how many games would we expect rice to start, either in place of Casemiro or Eriksen? because lets face it he is in front of Fred and McT, so 3 players to cover 2 positions for 70 games instead of 2 players? there is plenty of scope for Rice to be a hugely important player for us.
Are there cheaper options, undoubtedly, are there better options? we have been searching for years until Casemiro came along, I think Rice is the next best option, with the pedigree within the prem, but I am prepared to be shot down on that. I think also you have to look at attitude, not every player is going to fit into an ETH irrespective of ability, we also cannot afford to bring in players that will become a distraction or disruption (i.e. Neymar, Rabiot), so yeah they maybe cheaper options, but I think we can guarantee that Rice will fit in in terms of attitude and profile.
I am not a great fan of all the names touted around from other leagues TBH, how many actually come to the prem and succeed, not just for Utd but across the entire league, I know the financial landscape of the prem has changed and lower teams cannot be bullied into selling the way they once were, but I remember the amount of players we used to get under SAF from within the league, and I cannot help feel that overall in terms of success it is better to spend safe money, providing we are identifying the correct prem players, which I think we have been bad at post SAF before somebody brings up Maguire
I guess it all comes down to budget, which will come down to ownership, if we are spending £150-200m to try and get a CB, striker and midfielder as a minimum then Rice's price really impacts this, if ETH has more than £200m to spend I reckon we would be crazy not to push for him.