Premier League • England

Everton begin preliminary talks with Jesse Lingard to set up transfer battle against West Ham

Jesse Lingard Man Utd April 2022

Everton have reportedly begun initial discussions with free agent Jesse Lingard, who is also a target for West Ham this summer.

The attacking midfielder can leave Manchester United after his contract ran out on Friday. A move will see Lingard end his long association with the Red Devils, which stretches back to his youth career.

Lingard made 232 appearances in all competitions for United, registering 35 goals and 21 assists. However, he became an increasingly peripheral figure in recent seasons and was sent out on loan to West Ham in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign.

The Irons have kept an eye on his situation ever since and sent a contract offer to him on Sunday.

They also hold an interest in Villarreal forward Arnaut Danjuma. However, Lingard is a far cheaper option given his status as a free agent.

David Moyes’ side will face competition for Lingard though as the Liverpool Echo claim Everton also hope to sign him.

They state preliminary talks have already been held between Everton officials and Lingard’s entourage over a switch to Goodison Park.

Frank Lampard needs to bolster his attack after Richarlison left for Tottenham, and Lingard would be a good option to support Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Jesse Lingard ‘ticks several boxes’ for Everton

29-year-old Lingard is among several attacking candidates under consideration at Everton. The other options aren’t revealed by the report, although one is thought to be El Bilal Toure of Stade Reims.

Lingard ‘ticks several boxes’ for Everton as he is a proven Premier League player with international experience. Plus, he won’t cost any transfer fee.

The move could be ideal for the England international too. It would allow him to stay in the north west, potentially without even moving house.

Lingard is yet to respond to Everton’s proposal. However, it will give him some serious thinking to do as he also considers West Ham.

Lingard’s best option could be the latter, if he prioritises salvaging his career over remaining in the north west. Everton only just remained in the Prem last term, finishing 16th and four points off the drop zone.

West Ham, in contrast, came seventh, qualifying them for next season’s Europa Conference League. While this isn’t an elite tournament, it will still give Lingard the chance to impress in Europe, should he move to east London.

Meanwhile, Everton have reportedly made an approach to sign Christian Eriksen on a free.