Peter Crouch believes Manchester United should use Jesse Lingard as a makeweight in a deal for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
Lingard has made a fine start to life at the London Stadium after joining the Hammers on loan until the end of the season in the January transfer window.
Lingard has already scored three goals in his first four appearances for David Moyes’ men, who currently sit fourth in the Premier League table.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he wants a “revitalised” Lingard back at Old Trafford ahead of next term.
But it remains to be seen if United will keep hold of the attacking midfielder, who failed to play a single Premier League minute for the club in the first half of the season.
And Crouch thinks it would make more sense for the Red Devils to offer Lingard in part-exchange for Rice.
The England midfielder, who has been linked with a move to Manchester in recent months, is enjoying a fine season with West Ham.
“I love Declan Rice,” Crouch told the Daily Mail. “I have got a few friends who are West Ham fans and they want the club to break the bank, make him club captain and do all that it takes to keep him there for the next 15 years. He’s a brilliant player and could play for any of the top sides.
“[A swap deal] makes sense for United. Lingard needs to get away as his time at Old Trafford is up, while Rice is the kind of player United need to add.
“Would West Ham do that deal? I’m not so sure. We’ll see what happens.”
According to The Times, United blocked an automatic buyout clause in Lingard’s loan contract.
The insertion of such a clause would have allowed West Ham to purchase the 28-year-old for a fixed fee.
The Hammers are said to have paid £1.5m to borrow Lingard for the remainder of the campaign.
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