Manchester United are keen on using Jesse Lingard as part of a deal to sign West Ham's Declan Rice this summer, according to The Athletic.
What is the latest news regarding Rice and Lingard?
The pair are currently playing together for the Hammers, although Lingard is due to return to his parent club at the end of the season.
West Ham want to keep Lingard permanently, and United are set to explore the possibility of tempting Rice over to Old Trafford as part of the exchange between the two clubs.
How have the pair performed for West Ham this season?
There's a reason that West Ham wish to extend Lingard's spell in east London. The 28-year-old has been sensational since joining the Irons in January.
In his eight appearances for the side, Lingard has registered 10 goal contributions. Two of those came in his latest outing against Wolves, when he netted a stunning solo goal to open the scoring.
Meanwhile, Rice has been vital to West Ham's success in 2020/21 as well. As per WhoScored, he has made more interceptions (58) than any of his teammates in the Premier League.
He also ranks inside the top four at the club when it comes to successful tackles and dribbles.
What are their current market valuations?
It was reported earlier this week that United value Lingard at £30m following his exceptional start to life at West Ham.
That figure pales in comparison to what West Ham boss David Moyes wants for Rice, though.
Last month, the Scot revealed that he believes Rice is worth at least £100m in today's transfer market.
The ultimate sacrifice for Moyes?
It has been claimed that West Ham are desperate to sign Lingard this summer, and will do whatever it takes to get the deal across the line. With this in mind, Moyes could have a major decision on his hands in the coming months.
In order to get Lingard, he may have to part ways with Rice, something which he is unlikely to be keen to do.
United throwing Rice into the equation could leave Moyes with a huge ultimatum. Who does he need at the club more - Rice or Lingard?
8 games to decide
The final eight games of the season could be crucial in showing Moyes which player is more important to West Ham.
Rice is currently sidelined with a knee injury, and may not get much game time between now and the end of the campaign.
This provides Lingard with an opportunity to stake his claim. If he can maintain his current form, he could convince Moyes that West Ham do need to keep him beyond the summer more than they need Rice in central midfield.
On the flip side, if he suffers a dip in performances this may indicate that his previous displays were merely part of a purple patch, or if West Ham's results start to go sour despite Lingard continuing to play well, the case to prioritise Rice's future becomes a lot stronger.News Now - Sport News