Manchester United will reportedly be open to exploring the idea of using Jesse Lingard as a makeweight for an approach for Declan Rice this summer.
Lingard’s turnaround in form since January’s loan switch to West Ham has been nothing short of remarkable, with six goals and three assists earning the 28-year-old a call-up to the most recent England squad.
With suggestions that Lingard has done enough to warrant another chance with Man United, West Ham will reportedly do everything possible to turn the loan move into a permanent one.
"Simply superb" 🤯
You 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 to watch this.
Jesse Lingard runs from inside his own half to score a stunning opener for West Ham!
Solo goal of the season?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 5, 2021
If that is the case, it’s reported by The Athletic that the Red Devils will entertain the possibility of using West Ham’s interest in Lingard to their advantage as part of a deal to take Declan Rice to Old Trafford.
It’s claimed that the most recent international break saw light-hearted murmurings among the England squad that Rice’s future lay at Man United.
Rice is reportedly seen as a potential long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic but United will wait until the summer to gauge the Hammers’ interest in Lingard and examine how successful the club is in terms of securing other transfer targets.
Last month, former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make a move for Rice, who has established himself as one of the top prospects in the Premier League.
“I think Rice’s upside is off the charts,” Hargreaves said on Premier League Productions.
“He has the potential to be anything and a lot better. I think he plays within himself at West Ham.
“People don’t realise how big he is. He’s 6ft 3in, so he looks like a centre-back but he’s actually really good technically.
“I’m not a big fan of players who just play in there and pass it around, you have to stop players too.
“Declan Rice doesn’t have to dictate the game for Manchester United, he can pass to the players who can make the difference and be good defensively.”