Man Utd transfer news: Jesse Lingard could be used to sign Declan Rice

Manchester United want to sign Declan Rice

Manchester United are expected to explore the possibility of using Jesse Lingard as a potential makeweight in a deal to bring Declan Rice to the club this summer, according to The Athletic

Do United need Rice? 

The Athletic's Carl Anka has spoken of the club's need for a central defensive midfielder amid criticism for both Fred and Nemanja Matic at times this season. 

According to FBREF data, Rice averages more in the way of tackles won in the defensive third (1.48 to 1.26 and 1.18 respectively), boasts a much higher tackles won percentage across the pitch (48% to 31.7% and 37.5%) and wins more interceptions per game (2.10 to 2.06 and 0.89). 

Do they need Lingard? 

As successful as Lingard's loan at West Ham has been, it's hard to see much of a future for him at Old Trafford. Indeed, Bruno Fernandes is United's star man in an attacking midfield berth with the likes of Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and even Juan Mata capable of backing him up. 

Prior to his departure, Lingard had been handed only 98 minutes of action across all competitions this season by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, suggesting he was way down the pecking order anyway. 

With that in mind, trying to use him as collateral would be a smart move and potentially help them make a necessary upgrade. 

What has said Tony Cascarino said about Rice? 

Following West Ham's win over Leeds United back in December, talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino said Rice 'stinks of Man United'. 

“Declan Rice was superb. He absolutely ran the show in midfield," he said. 

“He was up against Kalvin Phillips as well, who is a good player. I thought he just took the game by the scruff of the neck.

“He just stunk of a Manchester United signing to me. I was sat there thinking, ‘Wow!'”

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How many league titles have Man Utd won?

Do United deserve credit? 

Indeed they do. 

Those behind the scenes at the club haven't always been praised but, by extending Lingard's contract months ago before farming him out on loan, they have significantly raised his value. 

Given his utter lack of involvement in the first half of the campaign, the idea of him walking away for free at the end of the season looked reasonably realistic. Still, the decision to hand him fresh terms looks inspired, with Lingard certainly putting himself in the shop window of late. 

If that now helps them land Rice, it'll look like a stroke of genius. 

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