City need a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, and another option for the holding midfield slot along with Rodri.
Chelsea will ultimately need a successor to N’Golo Kante, and have long been linked with Rice after he began his career with the Stamford Bridge side’s youth teams.
United’s need for a midfielder of Rice’s calibre is probably greater, with the 22-year-old reportedly on a shortlist of players the club will target next summer.
Even taking into account the arrival of Ronaldo, Solskjaer must show that he ccan combine a league title challenge with going deep into Europe’s top club competition – not only to attract the best players, but also to ensure his future in the Old Trafford hotseat.
And United need to respond to Tuesday’s setback with an attacking display like last season’s at the London Stadium – showing Rice and other top-class targets that they can thrive under the direction in which the manager is taking the club.