Manchester United

The defensive midfielders that Manchester United should target this summer

Daniel Feliciano
Declan Rice is a wanted man for the defensive midfield position
Declan Rice is a wanted man for the defensive midfield position / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
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As the summer transfer window draws ever closer, fans of clubs all over the country are drawing up their fantasy wish lists of players they want their club to sign.

Talk at Old Trafford centres around the potential incoming of a striker, right winger and centre back, but it seems people have forgotten about one of the team's biggest needs - a defensive midfielder.

With Nemanja Matic past his prime years and the Fred and Scott McTominay partnership doing well but playing way too many game, the team is really in need of someone who can hold the fort in midfield and add some much needed depth in that position.

But who are the best and most suitable targets for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to look at and try and bring in to boost the squad? Let's take a look.


9. Wilfred Ndidi

Paul Pogba, Wilfred Ndidi
Ndidi has established himself as one of the best in the league / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Likely a name that would be at the top of many fans' lists, Ndidi has been a stand-out defensive midfielder for Leicester for several seasons.

The Nigerian international has established himself as one of the best in the league and regularly tops the division for most tackles made in a season.

Unfortunately for United, Leicester are highly unlikely to be willing to sell and he would cost a fortune even if they did so it's probably not going to happen.


8. Rodrigo Bentancur

Rodrigo Bentancur
Juventus could look to do a squad rebuild this summer / Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

With Inter winning their first Scudetto in 11 years and ending Juventus' near decade of dominance, the Bianconeri are likely to undergo a squad rebuild this summer.

With so many options in midfield, some top players could become available and Bentancur is good enough to attract the attention of other top clubs. At just 23 he'd be a long-term investment, and a worthwhile one at that.


7. Bruno Guimaraes

Bruno Guimaraes
Guimaraes has been great for Lyon since joining / John Berry/Getty Images

After shining in his native Brazil, Guimaraes made the move to Ligue 1 with Lyon and has been excellent ever since.

Sitting at the base of the midfield, his passing range and tough tackling have made him key to the team that made it to the Champions League semi-finals last season.


6. Ruben Neves

Ruben Neves
Neves could be ready to step up a level / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Ruben Neves has been brilliant for Wolves ever since he joined the club in 2017

Now after three years in England's top flight he appears ready for a big move, and Manchester United could do with his aggression and work rate in midfield.


5. Florian Neuhaus

Florian Neuhaus
Neuhaus has impressed for Gladbach / Martin Rose/Getty Images

Maybe a hipster pick, but Neuhaus could add genuine quality to the Man Utd midfield.

The German international has been a standout player for Borussia Monchengladbach this season. Defensively he isn't the strongest candidate on his list but his positional awareness is a bonus with 1.3 interceptions per game dwarfing McTominay's 0.9.


4. Douglas Luiz

Douglas Luiz
Douglas Luiz has been a consistent performer this season / Visionhaus/Getty Images

While Aston Villa's upturn in fortunes this season was largely down to the quality of Jack Grealish, Douglas Luiz's performances shouldn't go unnoticed.

He is aggressive, physically strong, great on the ball, composed in tight spaces and a great tackler. Unfortunately for United, City have a buy-back clause and Fernandinho is 36 now a move does seem unlikely.


3. Boubakary Soumare

Boubakary Soumare
Lille could be on the verge of a Ligue 1 title / John Berry/Getty Images

LOSC Lille are actually still top of Ligue 1. No, seriously, they are.

And that is largely down to the performances of the young defensive midfielder Soumare, who over 29 appearances has helped to hold the fort down with great energy and reading of the game.

At just 23 years old, he would be a long-term solution in the holding midfield role and is unlikely to be too expensive either.


2. Yves Bissouma

Yves Bissouma
Yves Bissouma has been a standout performer at Brighton / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Brighton have just about survived in the Premier League this season despite really struggling to score goals. Defensively though they've been pretty damn good, with Bissouma the star of the show.

He is fantastic on the ball, able to break lines with passing and dribbling and is physical enough to compete with anyone. He's disciplined enough to play a more withdrawn role too, and alongside Pogba and Fernandes he could form a truly top level midfield.


1. Declan Rice

Declan Rice, Fred
England's best holding midfielder / Pool/Getty Images

England's best defensive midfielder, Declan Rice is going to be a wanted man this summer.

With Frank Lampard no longer at Chelsea, United are expected to lead the race for his signature and while he'll be pretty expensive, it's hard to argue that he wouldn't be value for money regardless of the fee.

A brilliant tackler, a leader, and only 22 years old, signing Rice would be a no-brainer for Man Utd.

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