Manchester United are interested in a swap deal involving Jesse Lingard and Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, according to reports.
According to the Mirror, Man United are “prepared” to offer Leicester £45m and Lingard in exchange for Maddison. However, Leicester are highly unlikely to accept such an offer, despite the report claiming that United feel Lingard is worth £40m in the transfer market.
Maddison (23) has 10 goals and 13 assists in 56 Premier League games for the Foxes since joining the club from Norwich City in June 2018 for £20m. Lingard did not register a single goal or assist in 2019 for United in the Premier League. Maddison is a key player for Brendan Rodgers’ team. Lingard can’t nail down a spot in arguably the weakest Man United team for decades.
He is also four years older than his Leicester counterpart, meaning his transfer value will only decrease – especially if his poor run of form continues. Maddison, by contrast, has a transfer value of £54m according to the reliable Transfermarkt.
If he has a strong finish to the season, makes England’s squad for Euro 2020 and Leicester qualify for the Champions League, his value could increase by another £30m in the summer transfer window.
Given Man United have had to pay over the odds to land players in recent years, it could cost them over £100m to land the midfielder. And Leicester are too savvy and well-run to accept a swap deal involving a United cast-off.
United have been starved of creativity in midfield this season due to Paul Pogba’s continued absence. They are also light on numbers in the position, going into the season with seven central defenders but only five central midfielders and have since lost Scott McTominay to injury. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer desperately needs reinforcements in the position and Maddison is one of the most highly-rated creative midfielders in the Premier League.
But take this transfer rumour with a pinch of salt. United are more than likely interested in signing Maddison, and Lingard could be on borrowed time at Old Trafford, but a swap deal involving the pair in the January window is extremely unlikely to happen.