Jesse Lingard was linked with a permanent move to West Ham in the summer with Declan Rice heading in the opposite direction, but the transfer failed to materialise
Manchester United have reportedly switched transfer targets and have made Kalvin Phillips a priority over Declan Rice.
The decision follows a summer transfer window in which Jesse Lingard was linked with a move to West Ham plus cash, with England international Rice going the other way.
Lingard spent half of last season on loan at West Ham following a January switch.
The winger hit the ground running in east London, where he scored nine times in 16 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers, and was expected to make a permanent move.
Manchester United were reportedly on board with the plan, so long as they could get Rice in exchange.
Action Images via Reuters)
But West Ham’s reluctance to part with the England midfielder and Lingard wanting to remain a Man United player meant the potential deal fell by the wayside.
And now the Daily Star is reporting that United have all but abandoned their pursuit of Rice, due to West Ham’s demands, and will instead target his England midfield partner Phillips.
The Leeds United star impressed immeasurably over the summer and was a key part of the Three Lions side that reached the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
But, like Rice, Philipps would set Man United back a huge fee, and another potential roadblock is the rivalry between the two sides.
Yorkshire-born Philipps is Leeds through and through having come through the club’s academy.
And according to his Leeds teammate Patrick Bamford, the midfielder’s family also dislikes Manchester United.
“Kalvin’s one of them [who know what the game means],” said Bamford. “He hasn’t played it up as much this time, but definitely the first time around we played them, he’s like, ‘This is a massive game.’
“He’s tried to tone it down a little bit, but the fact it’s at Elland Road makes it better. A shame the fans aren’t there.”
He added: “This week he hasn’t said much. He’ll probably talk more the day before the game, but being from Leeds it’s massive for him as well.
“All his family hate United and they’re probably rooting for him and they’re probably telling him to say, ‘Make sure you tell the lads how big and crucial this game is.’
“One of them where the rest of the season, while being important, this game is the main focus.”