A new rumour involving Declan Rice and Manchester United is the funniest thing West Ham United fans will read all week.
West Ham fans are in need of a pick-me-up at the moment after losing talisman Rice to injury for at least a month AND striker Michail Antonio for much if not all of what remains of the season.
Well a new report involving Man United and Rice from The Athletic will certainly give West Ham fans a laugh.
New Man United rumour is the funniest thing you will read all week
That’s after The Athletic ran a report claiming Man United are ‘exploring’ the possibility of including Rice in a West Ham ‘swap deal’ for Jesse Lingard.
Get in the bin. Lingard has been sensational for West Ham since signing on loan in January.
Six goals and four assists in eight games, two player of the month nominations and an England recall tells its own story.
Firstly let’s address this constant Lingard back and forth with West Ham and Man United.
Lingard wants to play week in, week out. He has made that perfectly clear.
Lingard deal is inevitable but throwing Rice in the mix is just laughable
He won’t do that at Man United – as has been proved over the last two wasted years of his career.
So with a year left on his Red Devils contract and the player wanting a move to West Ham, a permanent deal is inevitable at around the £15-20million mark.
How in the world then do The Athletic – or Man United if the report is accurate – think Rice would suddenly be brought into the mix?
David Moyes has already said several times ‘it would take Bank of England and Bank of Scotland money’ to get Rice out of West Ham.
The Scot scoffed when a reporter mentioned West Ham’s owners would not accept less than £100m recently (Telegraph).
Rice is 22 with several years on his contract and a value well north of £100m.
So quite how the Hammers star would suddenly be involved in a swap deal with Man United for Lingard – who 28 with one year left – is anyone’s guess.
Silly season gets under way early
Man United cannot afford a straight deal for Rice.
Very few clubs in world football can, particularly in light of the pandemic’s impact on finances.
But even with Lingard used as leverage, the fee would likely still be around the £100m mark.
Besides money there is also the fact West Ham want to sign Lingard to build a team around the likes of him and Rice.
This again makes a mockery of the ‘swap deal’ claims.
It is not even May yet and it seems silly season has already begun in earnest.