Loanee Lingard has been in sensational form for the Hammers since his January move and David Moyes has made no secret of his desire to make the move a permanent one.
‘The prospect of using Lingard as a makeweight in attempts to sign Declan Rice from West Ham United is expected to be explored,’ The Athletic claims.
‘Signing Lingard on a permanent deal will be the priority for Moyes. His impressive form since could help grease the wheels for a deal between the clubs — with Rice viewed as a possible long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic.
‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds a keen interest in 22-year-old Rice, who won back-to-back man of the match awards for England’s World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Poland last month and sources say there was light-hearted talk of a potential move to Old Trafford between players during that get-together.’
With each club wanting the other’s player, both are believed to be bullish about their valuations. United are reported to be looking for close to £30 million for Lingard, well over his market value, while David Moyes has said that ‘The Bank of England and Scotland’ would be needed to sign Rice. However, if a swap deal was organised, the two over-valuations could cancel each other out.
‘As it stands, there have been no formal talks between the clubs about a permanent deal,’ The Athletic confirms in regard to Lingard.
‘Those in the industry feel Lingard could be worth in the region of £20-25 million, although Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward may demand more after securing a good deal in January.
‘In March, Woodward asked internally whether Lingard was showing with West Ham that he is good enough for Solskjaer’s squad after all.
‘Lingard hasn’t entirely ruled out playing for his Manchester United again and has a deep affection for the club … But things are going so well at West Ham he can’t help but feel it’s the right fit for him. He wants to wait until the end of the season before he makes a decision about his future.’