Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praises former transfer target Declan Rice

Erik ten Hag admits Declan Rice "would have absolutely fit in" at Manchester United.

Arsenal signed Rice for £105million in the summer while United settled for England teammate Mason Mount, who had entered the final year of his contract at Chelsea, in a £60m deal.

Mount has only played 19 times this season and made his first Premier League start in seven months in the 4-0 drubbing at Crystal Palace on Monday but he has suffered another injury and is out of Sunday's game at home to Arsenal.

Rice was interested in signing for United and former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he was an admirer. Ultimately, United decided Rice's valuation would have been a budget-buster and the 25-year-old has helped elevate Arsenal to the Premier League summit approaching the final week of the season.

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"He is a very good player and he would absolutely have fit in here," Ten Hag said. "But it is not I am not happy with Mason. I am very happy with Mason and he is also a very robust player.

"You see in his profile: in his last four seasons - this is the fifth - in the last four seasons he only had only a small issue at the end of his Chelsea career. Before that, he played almost all the games, three seasons after each other, with three days turnaround, he always played.

"It is really bad luck what happened and he is a really good player. We really missed him, he could have had a contribution to our levels,"