Transfer expert Dean Jones has hinted that if Declan Rice leaves West Ham this summer, it might blow the club’s chances of signing Jesse Lingard on a permanent deal.
The club has been heavily linked with a move for Lingard this summer after he scored nine and assisted five in 16 Premier League appearances on loan in east London last season.
However, the impact he had on the club’s top-six finish has undoubtedly increased his value in Man United’s eyes, which automatically makes it harder for West Ham to finance a permanent move.
Meanwhile, Declan Rice is attracting increased interest from the likes of Chelsea following on from his impressive performances for England at Euro 2020, with Jones revealing on The Football Terrace’s ‘The Done Deal Show’ that the midfielder has seriously considering leaving the club for Chelsea this summer.
According to Jones, Lingard moving to West Ham could rest on the future of Rice, as the two got on so well when playing together in claret and blue.
Although he didn’t say it would definitely affect a permanent move for the attacker, he hinted that it might play a part, which will be a big worry for David Moyes and his plans to get West Ham to a level that can compete in the Europa League next season.
When asked about what he knew about Lingard’s future on The Done Deal Show, he said: “I find it hard to believe that he’ll be at Man United [next season], because [Ole Gunnar] Solksjaer had enough opportunities to give Lingard chances before he went out on loan to West Ham.
“Lingard felt he probably deserved a bit more respect over that and he went to West Ham and had a sensational run of form that showed everybody what he was truly capable of, and he loved it there. He’s certainly open to joining them.
“To be honest, in the final weeks of the season, it looked liked he’d made his mind up and that he’d probably join West Ham as long as they could come to an agreement.
“What’s obviously changed is Lingard’s valuation and it’s far further up than what it was when he initially made that loan move, and that’s why they didn’t put any clause in there in the first place, because they didn’t want Jesse Lingard to become available for £15m in case he did hit the kind of form he hit, because now he’s probably a £30m player.
“And then, I’ve seen it mooted, a Declan Rice and Jesse Lingard swap deal. That’s not going to happen, those players aren’t going to swap.
“The other thing is, as part of that, one of the reasons Lingard loved being at West Ham was because he loved Declan Rice. Declan Rice was a big part of why West Ham have been so successful, a big personality, Lingard’s got a similar personality, they got on really well. He loved that.
“So if Declan Rice did leave, it might affect it [Lingard’s move to West Ham]. I’m not saying it definitely would, but it might affect it.”
Selling Declan Rice and failing to sign Jesse Lingard, as a result, would be a huge blow for West Ham this summer, with both having been so crucial to the club’s surprising top-six Premier League finish in 2020/2021.
Losing two star players in one summer would be very difficult to recover from in one transfer window for a club like West Ham and, while it was never a certainty that Lingard would make his loan move permanent this summer, there has always been a hope that both will be representing the club next season.
But going into a season without both of them is almost unthinkable, so Moyes and the club are going to need to find a way to at least keep Rice at the club as a priority, which might then positively impact their chances of bringing Lingard back to London.