David Sullivan will risk a major blunder if he fails to see West Ham sign loanee Jesse Lingard from Manchester United permanently this summer.
The Irons have been backed to do whatever it takes to keep the England international at the London Stadium by Barry Fry, who has been speaking exclusively with Football FanCast.
Peterborough’s Director of Football believes David Gold and Sullivan will pull out all the stops to keep Lingard in claret and blue, should they receive the green light from manager David Moyes.
Reports by Claret & Hugh have previously claimed that Moyes has marked retaining Lingard and the arrival of a new centre-forward to support Michail Antonio as his priorities for the summer market.
Lingard also has interest from elsewhere in the Premier League and from abroad, with The Sun citing Arsenal as plotting a potential rival bid and ESPN listing Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain among a host of European suitors monitoring his situation.
But Fry does not expect outside influences to detract Gold and Sullivan from signing Lingard if the midfielder is Moyes’ man.
“Knowing the West Ham owners, I think they will try their best if David Moyes wants Lingard permanently,” he told FFC. “I think they do everything in their power to get him at West Ham.
“He’s obviously got a relationship with David Moyes, otherwise he wouldn’t have gone there in the first place.
“He’s been absolutely fantastic. He’s got back in the England squad and showed his worth and he’s been outstanding for West Ham. Lingard’s special.”
Lingard, for his part, is not yet thought to have decided where he wishes to play his football next season, but the 28-year-old is expected to prioritise a club that has Champions League action to offer.
The England international’s goals have helped fire West Ham into the conversation of a top-four finish, with Moyes’ side sitting fourth in the Premier League table and only a point behind Leicester City on level games played with the Foxes plus rivals Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham were five points behind Liverpool when Lingard made his Irons debut away to Aston Villa, but have enjoyed an eight-point swing since thanks to the playmaker’s eight goals and three assists in only nine appearances.
His double against Leicester on Sunday to help to a 3-2 win at home to the Foxes was particularly vital, yet Moyes argued after the game that “he has been crucial before that”.
It is no wonder, then, that Sky Sports reported earlier this month that West Ham are willing to ‘do whatever it takes’ to keep Lingard at the club, and why Fry has since seemingly supported that claim.
Sullivan would surely risk a major blunder by now failing to get a deal to retain Lingard over the line, and seeing the midfielder replicate his exploits elsewhere while having to pay a similar or even higher fee to find a replacement who can consistently offer the same output or better.