West Ham’s chances of securing the signing of Jesse Lingard this summer have taken a serious downturn amid claims that AC Milan are ready to beat them to his signature.
The 28-year-old’s future is likely to prove one of the key tales of this transfer window after catching the eye during his loan stint with the Hammers. While he barely featured for United in the first half of the campaign, he came to life at the London Stadium. In fact, he scored nine goals and assisted five others to help West Ham qualify for the Europa League.
As such, Hammers boss David Moyes has made it clear that he would like Lingard to sign on a long-term deal.
Indeed, they have seemingly stepped up their hunt to bring him back to the club on a permanent basis. That’s after reports on Tuesday claimed the three-year extension recently penned by Moyes is playing a key role in Lingard’s current thinking.
The midfielder can see stability in the east end of London, as West Ham prepare for European football next season.
However, it was reported on Wednesday that United had stunned the Hammers by slapping a huge £30m fee on his head.
That fee though appears far higher than West Ham were expecting and appears too steep for Moyes’ side.
That said, as per The Athletic, the Hammers will hope to barter United down. It was previously stated that any deal for Lingard will have cost nearer the £20m mark. And with less than a year to run on his deal, United, it’s said, are not in a strong position to negotiate.
However, West Ham’s prospects have now taken a serious downturn amid claims that Milan are also keen.
As per transfer journalist Ekrem Konur, Milan have placed Lingard on their list of targets and are readying an approach.
Whilst his word is not the conclusive one just yet, time will tell if Konour has indeed got this right.
It’s not the first time they have been mentioned as suitors for Lingard either.
Furthermore, with Hakan Calhanoglu joining Inter on a free, Milan have a playmaker vacancy open in their ranks.
The news prove a concern for West Ham, who could be forced into action should Milan make an official approach.
Lingard keen to secure Man Utd exit
Either way, it seems certain that Lingard does plan to move on from Old Trafford this summer.
As per reports, he is hoping to hold talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to ascertain his future plans for him.
In that meeting, it is claimed Lingard will express doubts about the game time he’d get at United.
Bruno Fernandes has kept him out of the team, and Jadon Sancho will soon add to the competition.
Sancho’s arrival has also reportedly made winger Daniel James assess his options ahead of the new season.
The Wales international has played a bit-part role since signing. He’s often been used as a substitute to finish a game off with, for example, a breakaway goal.
While he has enjoyed his time at Old Trafford, though, James could now face less game time.