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Manchester United have made Declan Rice a transfer target going into the summer window as they consider using Jesse Lingard as a makeweight to bring his price down. However, there could be a further twist to the tale.
United are not making Rice a top target going in the summer transfer window, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking at other targets.
It comes as West Ham desperately look for a way to keep hold of Lingard past the current season.
David Moyes is prepared to fight tooth and nail over keeping Rice, who had also attracted attention from former club Chelsea – who released him at the age of 14.
But the England international has grown into one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League despite the fact he is just 22.
He is already seen as the successor to Mark Noble as Hammers captain and has been a large part of their brilliant form in the league.
However, it cannot all be attributed to Rice – with Lingard proving potentially the signing of the season after joining from United in the January transfer window.
In 11 Premier League appearances, the England midfielder has scored nine and assisted three as West Ham eye a shock spot in the top four.
Moyes is desperate to keep hold of Lingard and the Mirror report that United are prepared to use him as part of the deal to take Rice to Old Trafford.
However, with him not being a top target and West Ham not interested in letting him go – what is more likely is another defensive midfielder arriving at Manchester this summer.
The Hammers may then be forced into looking for alternatives to Lingard.
And the Mirror further report that Emi Buendia could be an option, who has also been linked with a move to Liverpool and Arsenal.
The Norwich star has been in incredible form this season, landing the EFL Championship Player of the Year after leading the Canaries back to the top-tier.
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