Peter Crouch has told his Q&A Daily Mail column that Manchester United should look to pursue a swap deal that would see West Ham sign Jesse Lingard permanently – and Declan Rice go the other way, to Old Trafford.
Lingard, 28, has joined West Ham on loan from Manchester United until the end of the season and has instantly rediscovered his best form. In four appearances for the Hammers, he has scored three goals, and laid on an assist.
The England playmaker is making a late push for Euro 2021 after scoring the winner in a 2-1 win over Tottenham on Sunday. Meanwhile, Rice continues to be linked with England’s biggest sides as he shines in claret and blue.
Ian McGarry has told the Transfer Window podcast that both Liverpool and Manchester United have opened talks with the agent of Rice – and Crouch thinks a swap involving Lingard makes sense, after a fan suggested the idea.
“I love Declan Rice,” Crouch said. “I have got a few friends who are West Ham fans and they want the club to break the bank, make him club captain and do all that it takes to keep him there for the next 15 years.
“He’s brilliant; could play for any of the top sides. Your suggestion makes sense for United. Lingard needs to leave Old Trafford. Rice is the kind of player United need. Would they do that deal? I’m not sure. We’ll see what happens.”
TBR’s view – Lingard contract situation might prevent swap deal
Including Lingard in a deal for Rice would see Manchester United be able to reduce West Ham’s asking price for Rice, and ultimately spend less cash – while removing Lingard’s pay cheque from the wage bill.
As Crouch says, it makes sense. But the only stumbling block is that Lingard is out of contract this summer – meaning West Ham can sign him for free when we reach the end of the season.
It means Manchester United will not be able to include him in any swap deals, or bring in any cash for him this summer, as he will be leaving Old Trafford on a free. That can change, but only if they get him to sign a new deal.