West Ham have reportedly identified an attacking alternative to Jesse Lingard, should the England international remain at Manchester United.
Lingard, 28, joined the Hammers on loan in January after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford. He went on to become a huge hit, bagging nine goals in just 16 appearances under David Moyes. His form helped the club to reach Europe League qualification for the first time in four years.
However, a transfer has stalled due to United’s asking price. They want around £30million for the winger, which puts West Ham out of the race.
When asked about Lingard last week, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “I think Jesse’s first priority is to get into our team. Whenever your employer is Man Utd, that’s your first priority, it always is.
“I’ve got to leave players out of the starting eleven and squad. But they all have to remember they’re going to play a part if we’re going to be successful.
“Jesse’s back to fitness, played really well in behind closed doors games and has come back in good shape. He’s got a big part to play.”
According to the Express, the Hammers remain interested in Lingard but are monitoring other players just in case.
One name that has now appeared on their wish list is Lille star Jonathan Bamba.
The Express claim that Moyes is ‘chasing’ Bamba this summer ahead of a £25m move to the London Stadium.
It looks like that £5m price difference is essential in getting a deal over the line.
Bamba is a talented left winger who managed six goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1 during the 2020/21 campaign.
His form helped the French side to win their first league title in ten years. They also ended Paris Saint-Germain’s domestic dominance.
Bamba is a former France U21 international who came through the ranks at St Etienne.
Lille snapped him up on a free transfer back in July 2018 and he’s since improved his value hugely.
West Ham could be the perfect destination for him to give the Premier League a try.
It’s thought that he would link up well with Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma in attack.
Moyes can also utilise Pablo Fornals, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko.
Rice prepared to reject new West Ham deal
On Saturday, reports emerged stating that Declan Rice is prepared to reject a new contract with West Ham.
It’s thought that he is unhappy with the club’s valuation of him, which stands at upwards of £100m.
That prevents a move to Chelsea or United from going ahead in the future.
West Ham have offered him a ‘significant pay rise’, but the midfield enforcer is prioritising a top six switch.