Manchester United are looking to use Jesse Lingard as a ‘makeweight’ in a deal to sign Declan Rice from West Ham this summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are long-term admirers of Rice and are in the market for a defensive midfielder this season, the England international having grown in stature for club and country over the past two seasons.
Rice has captained West Ham for much of the current campaign with David Moyes’ side the surprise package of the Premier League season, currently sitting fourth in the division and in contention to secure Champions League qualification.
West Ham are desperate to hold onto the midfielder but could face strong interest in his services this summer, with The Athletic reporting that United will look to use Lingard in part-exchange to get a deal done.
Lingard is currently on loan at the London Stadium and has been in superb form since his arrival, scoring six goals and providing three assists in just eight league appearances for the Hammers.
The 28-year-old’s performances saw him recalled into the England squad for March’s World Cup qualifiers, returning to the international side after almost a two-year absence.
In just eight games with West Ham, Jesse Lingard has already scored as many Premier League goals (6) as Jack Grealish this season 👀 pic.twitter.com/jdJsTyuvr9
— Goal (@goal) April 8, 2021
West Ham are reportedly determined to do ‘whatever it takes’ to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis, though do not have an option to buy under the current arrangement.
United triggered a one-year extension in Lingard’s deal earlier this season, but are prepared to sell the player this summer given his lack of previous opportunities and his rising stock since signing moving to the capital.
Lingard has quickly become a popular figure in the dressing room at the London Stadium, though is yet to make a decision on whether to leave his boyhood side on a permanent basis.
The midfielder is currently concentrating on West Ham’s push for Europe and forcing his way into the England squad for this summer’s European Championship, but there is a sense that the club has proven a perfect fit for a player enjoying arguably the best form of his career.
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