Last summer was spent wondering if Chelsea would finally find a way to sign Declan Rice from West Ham, but that interest finally died down when Frank Lampard was sacked.
There was the occasional link to Man United but there was never anything concrete, plus there’s never really been a situation where Rice tried to force his way out either.
United do need to add some proper quality to the midfield behind Bruno Fernandes and Rice would certainly add that, so the inevitable rumours about a potential swap deal have arrived:
? #MUFC to explore Declan Rice move as part of any #WHUFC deal for Jesse Lingard
? #MUFC set to make £4m on Lingard loan
? Talk of Rice move during #ENG camp
? Lingard grateful for Moyes support but wants to decide future at end of season
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) April 8, 2021
Lingard has been sensational since moving to the Hammers on loan in January and it looks like he’s thriving because he’s a key member of the team, so it doesn’t make much sense for him return to the Old Trafford bench.
There’s no chance that this could be a straight swap deal so it would involve Man United paying a sizeable fee and allowing Lingard to move to West Ham permanently, but it would be a good move for the midfielder at this point in his career.
West Ham have had an incredible season but history tells us that they’ll probably sink back towards mid table next year, although you can argue that it might not happen if Rice stays put.
It’s been a strange season where Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool have all struggled but you have to fancy that they’ll be stronger next season, so Rice might decide this is the right time to move on to a bigger club.
Moving to Old Trafford would give him a regular chance at Champions League football but it’s also reported that Lingard hasn’t made up his mind either, so this is a situation to watch going into the summer.