Manchester United have a plan to beat Chelsea to the signing of Declan Rice from West Ham United this summer.
The 22-year-old England international has been the subject of mass speculation since last summer, with the Blues and United both interested in making a move.
And according to The Athletic, the Manchester-based club have an action plan to take the lead in the race for his signature.
The past two and a half months have seen Jesse Lingard shine at the London Stadium after making the move from United on loan.
Ole Gunnnar Solskjaer is an admirer of Rice, according to the report, and wants to add him to his midfield options once the season is over.
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United could look to use Lingard as a makeweight for the former Chelsea academy product.
David Moyes recently insisted that Rice is worth “far more” than £100million, so any deal for the midfielder will not be cheap.
So the Hammers’ stance on Rice is very clear, they do not want to sell him for anything less than an astronomical sum, but United are hoping to sweeten their thoughts by offering Lingard, as well as a hefty fee.
The United loanee didn’t have a sniff at Old Trafford prior to his move to London, with Bruno Fernandes taking the Premier League by storm in a similar position to where Lingard used to feature under Solskjaer.
The report claims that United’s stance on Rice will be dependent on the progress they make on transfer targets in other areas of the pitch.
This could spell bad news for Chelsea, if Manchester United approach West Ham with a Lingard plus cash offer for Rice.
However, the majority of the transfer talk surrounding Rice came when Frank Lampard was in charge, but he has since been replaced by Thomas Tuchel – who may have other targets in mind.
Rice was at the Blues’ academy from 2006…