West Ham United may have seen an approach for Jesse Lingard rebuffed in the summer but they could well revisit their interest at the turn of the year, according to reports…
The Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser claims that there have been suggestions of a fresh approach for the England international during the January transfer window should he not get the game time he wants at Manchester United.
It’s thought that the 28-year-old midfielder has rejected the Red Devils’ latest offer of a new contract, despite himself turning down a return to the London Stadium before deadline day.
Lingard is now into the final year of his £100k-per-week deal and will be free to leave the club for nothing next summer if no agreement is found.
He is yet to start a match for United this season but played a starring role in England’s win over Andorra last week as he seeks to prove his worth to Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer at his boyhood club.
Of course, many supporters were desperate to see Lingard return to east London after a fruitful loan spell saw him provide nine goals and five assists but you can’t really begrudge him for trying to make an impact at the team he’s been at for 21 years of his life.
Assistant manager Stuart Pearce even reiterated their desire to sign him permanently to talkSPORT but as evident above, his chances of coming back were always going to be slim.
“The ball is in Manchester United’s court. He is contracted to them. We would like him with us, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “He’s a special lad and was very good around the players – the players really like him. His ability shone out last year and gave us a great option in our squad. You never know, but at this moment in time it looks like he is fighting for a place in the United line-up.”
However, it’s a move that cannot be ruled out in the long term.
Lingard could actually be making a very smart decision as the ball is firmly in his court. If he gets minutes, he can sign a new deal. If he doesn’t, then surely he will be eager for another crack at redemption with the Irons.
Hammers boss David Moyes has signed a replacement in former Everton flop Nikola Vlasic, something that needed to happen considering the void that would’ve been left behind and the Croatian playmaker does look like a good alternative, having delivered 12 goals and six assists in all competitions in 2020/21.
Although, that shouldn’t put the Scotsman off from doubling up in the role, particularly as Lingard can also play out wide and in deeper midfield, thus giving him plenty of options in the future.
The £19.8m-rated dynamo, who has now been capped 31 times by England, would be the sort of signing in January – or next summer – that would keep the east Londoners competing at the top, which is the next task after last season’s sixth-place finish.
If the opportunity arises in the future, then Moyes and co would be foolish to not bring Lingard back to the club. Their chances of doing so have certainly been bolstered by this latest contract update and it’s a move that would go down very well with the Irons’ fanbase.