Arsenal are reportedly planning to hijack West Ham’s bid to sign resurgent Manchester United and England playmaker Jesse Lingard this summer.
The Gunners were keen to take the Manchester United star on loan in January, but eventually lost out to their London rivals. A deal to take Lingard to north London was always unlikely however, given that United did not want to strengthen a potential top four rival. Bizarrely, that has happened anyway, with the Hammers flying high this season and Arsenal down in 11th.
Lingard has scored six goals in eight games for David Moyes’ men, who are well in the mix for the Champions League spots.
There has been plenty of talk surrounding a permanent move to the London Stadium for the England man. However, there is no agreement in place between the two clubs’
A report in the Daily Star claims that has opened the door for Arsenal to make their move.
United are expected to trigger a one-year extension to Lingard’s current contract. However, that is merely viewed as a ploy to keep his transfer value high.
A fee of between £25m-30m has been mooted for the attacking midfielder. And while United were not keen on letting Lingard join the Gunners on a temporary deal, the fact they could raise significant funds to boost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad could prove too hard to turn down.
That would lead to a potential shootout between the two London clubs. However, it will depend on which of them is in Europe, as Lingard looks to continue his England resurgence.
Arsenal make move for Brazilian starlet
Meanwhile, Arsenal have made contact with the agent of impressive Fluminense teenager Matheus Martinelli.
The 19-year-old has made 16 appearances for the Brazilian outfit, playing in a central or defensive midfield role. He’s netted three goals and registered one assist in those outings. His performances have made him the latest promising South American starlet to attract interest from Europe, just like his namesake Gabriel, who moved to the Emirates in 2019.
And the Gunners are one of those who have been impressed. The Premier League side have been scouting the youngster in order to follow his progress.
And according to Globo Esporte (via Sport Witness) they have now moved to find out more about his situation.
However, they also point out that these were only ‘initial contacts’. That means a deal nor a bid is on the cards as of yet.
Should the interest go any further, though, the London club would have to pay a hefty €40million release clause.