West Ham have confirmed the permanent signing of Said Benrahma from Brentford – paving the way for them to pursue Jesse Lingard as well.
Benrahma joined West Ham on an initial loan deal from the Championship side in October. He has made 14 appearances for West Ham so far, providing two assists.
While he is yet to fully show his qualities for his new club, they wanted to sign him on a permanent deal as quickly as possible.
That’s because they had reached the limit of players they could have on loan from other English clubs. But with Lingard a target from Manchester United too, they wanted to free up one of those spaces.
Now, Benrahma is officially a permanent West Ham player, signing a contract until 2026. The transfer costs around £20m, and could rise to £25m with add-ons.
The England midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford. He has not featured at all in the Premier League this season.
Hence, he wants to find more regular gametime elsewhere, and West Ham believe they can offer him that.
They were in disagreement with United over whether they should pay a loan fee for Lingard, but it seems those issues have been resolved and the 28-year-old will become a West Ham player imminently.
Solskjaer gives Lingard hint
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently admitted that he would take Lingard’s wishes into consideration – as well as those of Brandon Williams – as two United academy graduates push for exits.
“They’re still part of the club, part of the squad, training well,” Solskjaer said.
“No deal has been struck for any of the players yet going out – still a little period, of course.
“There’s been many clubs interested in our players, so let’s see what happens.
“For me, it’s also important to take our wishes and our plans into consideration but also the players of course. They are Man United people and players through and through.”
Now, it seems Lingard will be cleared to join West Ham for the rest of the season.