West Ham United have long been linked with re-signing Jesse Lingard after his exit from Manchester United but the Englishman finally chose his new club on Thursday, signing for Premier League returnees Nottingham Forest.
The Hammers were among the frontrunners to sign the 29-year-old after his Old Trafford exit but couldn’t agree on a new contract, and he has now signed for Steve Cooper’s side on an eye-watering deal.
According to Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth, West Ham did make a bid to sign the midfielder but weren’t willing to match Forest’s offer.
He tweeted: “I’m told West Ham United made what they felt was a fair & competitive offer for Jesse Lingard – but weren’t prepared to get involved in a bidding war with other clubs & are focusing on other targets.”
While Lingard became a fan favourite during his loan spell at the London Stadium, this transfer saga has dragged on for far too long, and many Irons supporters may well be glad to see the back of it. Indeed, some fans have already grown weary of his preference for bigger wages at the City Ground.
The former England international contributed nine goals and five assists in just 16 appearances for the east London club on loan in 2020/21 but then opted to sit on the bench at Manchester United over a return to the Hammers last season.
Reports have suggested that Lingard could earn as much as £150,000 per week during his time at Forest, which again arguably suggests that he has prioritised money over football.
Sheth’s suggestion that West Ham will now focus on other targets will also surely delight Hammers fans, as they will be desperate to see deals for the likes of Armando Broja and Gianluca Scamacca prioritised now.
Considering that David Moyes already has a lot of depth in the attacking midfield and wide areas, Lingard arguably wasn’t needed and his wage could definitely be better spent elsewhere, with a new striker surely the main focus ahead of the new season.
It is disappointing that the 29-year-old hasn’t chosen West Ham, but considering his huge wages and his tally of just two goals and one assist for United last season, Irons supporters may well be delighted that this transfer saga is finally over.