Jesse Lingard will snub reported interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham to make a permanent move to West Ham this summer.
Lingard has burst back onto the scene in the second half of this season after his United struggles. Indeed, the 28-year-old has directly contributed to 13 goals in 10 games since joining West Ham on loan. As such, he could cap off a remarkable spell with a spot in England’s Euro 2020 squad.
However, his future beyond the summer tournament remains unclear, with the Hammers keen to make his move permanent. They’re not the only interested parties, however, with Arsenal, Spurs and Leicester touted as suitors.
A route back into the squad at United also looks a possibility.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted on Wednesday that Bruno Fernandes’ form has largely kept Lingard out of the team.
He added, though, that he would welcome the midfielder back into the team amid his return to form. As such, Lingard is said to have made two demands of United over a potential stay at Old Trafford.
With all that in mind, various reports now state Lingard has told West Ham he’s ready to make his stay there permanent. Lingard has thrived under David Moyes in the free role he’s been afforded at the London Stadium. As such, the player has reportedly come to the realisation that staying with the Hammers would be best for his career going forwards.
In addition, well-informed football journalist Pedro Almeida, via Hammers News, claims Lingard’s fee will be set at £21.5m. The Hammers have already paid United a £3m loan fee, taking the total package up to £24.5m.
That’s some £6.5m more than the original £15m fee being bandied about. However, given his impact at West Ham, the investment looks a sound one from their point of view.
Neville doubts Lingard can play at United
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville reckons Lingard has little chance of playing regular football at Old Trafford. Indeed, he says he needs to join the Hammers permanently if he’s to continue enjoying his football.
After the win at Wolves recently, Neville was asked if he would have Lingard back at United.
“It depends on what grounds,” Neville told Sky Sports. “If Jesse wants to play, which he does want to play, you can see, then he’s going to need to leave.
“Because he’s not going to play every single week I suspect in a Manchester United team that’s trying to get to second or first in the league.
“But if he’s willing to go back there and compete and be a player like that, he could. Daniel James has come in for the last few weeks and he’s out of the team again. Does he want to be that type of player who’s a bit in and out?
“There’s no doubt he can play for Manchester United but he’d have to be in that role.”