Manchester United’s hopes of bringing Declan Rice to Old Trafford have been made tougher following a new development with Jesse Lingard.
What’s the latest on the situation?
ESPN has reported that Lingard’s representatives have made it clear that he will not be used as a part of a transfer deal to bring Declan Rice to Manchester United.
However, it’s going to take a significant sum of money to lure Rice to Old Trafford.
How much is Rice worth?
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has valued the club’s prize asset at around £100m, according to Sky Sports.
However, when asked about the price tag of his star player, Hammers boss David Moyes responded by saying his value is much greater.
“I don’t agree with the owners that Declan Rice is a £100m footballer. Far, far more than £100m. Far, far more,” the Scot stated.
Based upon his performances this season, it’s difficult to disagree with the former United manager.
Although he’s currently ruled out with a knee injury, Rice has been a mainstay in West Ham’s team this season and has developed into one of the side’s top performers.
This year, he’s earned an average WhoScored rating of 7.02, which has only been bettered by Lingard, Tomas Soucek, and Michail Antonio.
What challenge does Matt Judge face?
As the individual who is in charge of United’s negotiations, Matt Judge has ultimate responsibility for striking the deal to bring Rice to Old Trafford.
With Lingard excelling in east London, United may have thought they had a trick up their sleeve in terms of purchasing Rice.
However, as per ESPN, it seems that this deal is now off the cards, which makes Judge’s job even more difficult.
West Ham’s lofty valuation was already a sizeable stumbling block, especially as it was recently revealed that the club’s summer transfer budget is only £80m.
Who could United sign instead of Rice?
Given the finances involved, it might not be possible to bring the Englishman to Old Trafford, so it may be wise for the Red Devils to look elsewhere.
Another option for Judge and United could be Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi. The Nigerian has proven his worth in the Premier League and will likely be a cheaper alternative to Rice. Transfermarkt value him at just £45m.
Furthermore, he’s actually generated a higher WhoScored average rating than the Englishman this season, with 7.29.