Man United to explore using Jesse Lingard as makeweight in Declan Rice deal 4 weeks ago

Man United to explore using Jesse Lingard as makeweight in Declan Rice deal

Lingard to West Ham could become permanent if United can agree a deal for Rice

Manchester United are reportedly considering using a revitalised Jesse Lingard as a makeweight in a bid to sign Declan Rice from West Ham this summer.

Lingard joined West Ham on a loan in January and has since flourished, helping David Moyes's side move into the Premier League's top four earlier this week.

Though his future beyond the end of the season - when his loan deal expires - is still very much up in the air, The Athletic write that the  prospect of him being used as a sweetener in a United move for Rice is expected to be explored at Old Trafford.

The 22-year-old caught the eye on international duty at the end of last month, with the report claiming there was 'light-hearted talk' about the possibility of him moving to United amongst England players.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be a keen admirer of the midfielder, despite Moyes' recent assertion that it would take a substantial offer in excess of £100m to prise him away from the London Stadium this summer.

Signing Lingard, who has managed six goals in eight appearances for the Hammers, on a permanent deal will be seen as a priority for Moyes. Though his good form has seen some question whether a return to United may be viable, the fact that Bruno Fernandes is deployed in the same position by Solskjaer means regular starts would be highly unlikely.

Interestingly, the Athletic also add that United's vice-executive chairman Ed Woodward asked internally last month if Lingard was performing at a level that proved he was worthy of a return to United.