Manchester United have discussed a swap deal with West Ham involving three players for Declan Rice, according to reports. The England international is a top Ole Gunnar Solskjaer transfer target. And with the Hammers likely to demand a big fee for their skipper, that’s forced the Red Devils into finding an alternative solution.
Manchester United have several names under consideration as they look to back Solskjaer on the transfer front.
Erling Haaland is their top target, while Harry Kane is also being tracked amid suggestions he could leave Tottenham for a new challenge.
In goal, United have been linked with Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak despite having both David De Gea and Dean Henderson currently on their books.
And, at the back, Raphael Varane and Jules Kounde are being eyed as Solskjaer looks for a long-term defensive partner for Harry Maguire.
In recent times, talk of United moving for Rice has started to gather momentum.
And 90min claim the Red Devils have talked with West Ham about a possible swap deal involving Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Phil Jones.
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Lingard has been a player reborn at the Hammers since moving in the January transfer window, scoring six goals and clocking up two assists at the London Stadium so far.
And West Ham would, consequently, like to sign the England international on a permanent basis.
Matic, meanwhile, has struggled for action at Old Trafford this season.
While he was previously a regular under Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer seems to prefer Fred and Scott McTominay when it comes to the club’s midfield positions.
Matic has been a good asset for United since his arrival from Chelsea in the summer transfer window of 2017, earning Solskjaer’s respect with his professional approach.
Yet the Serbia international may be cut loose if it means bringing Rice to the Theatre of Dreams.
As for Jones, the England international hasn’t made a single appearance for United this season due to injury.
And he’s another who could head to West Ham, who could represent the perfect stage for the former Blackburn Rovers star to turn his career around.
What ultimately happens is something only time will tell, especially with United having other targets in mind.
But Rice is likely to be in demand no matter what happens, with the 22-year-old emerging as one of the best midfielders in the country over the course of the season.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has admitted he wanted to bring Rice to Stamford Bridge before his sacking in January.
“We are fortunate to have him in England. West Ham are fortunate to have him,” said the 42-year-old, who was replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
“He’s a leader and it is clear that he’s destined for great things.
“I have probably given it away with how I spoke about him, but I think it’s common knowledge that I was a big fan of his.
“It didn’t happen for various reasons, but we brought in a lot of players in the summer. But I was a big fan of him.
“For understandable reasons, West Ham know the player that they have on their hands.
“I don’t want Declan to be in an uncomfortable position through this because all I see from him is absolute performance and desire to play for West Ham.
“They gave him the chance there and the choice will be Declan’s as the years go ahead, but his performances are great to watch.”
Moyes said in March that Rice was worth more than £100m in today’s world.
“I don’t agree with the owners that Declan Rice is a £100m footballer. Far, far more than £100m. Far, far more,” said the Scot.
“I look at the players who have joined some clubs from overseas and come in and nowhere near had the impact Declan Rice would have.
“I certainly wouldn’t put a price on it. You can decide which figure you want to put on it but I wouldn’t be sanctioning anything like that, that’s for sure.”