One of the European clubs who were interested in Jesse Lingard before his move to West Ham have revived their pursuit of the Manchester United man, according to reports.
Lingard was starved of opportunities at Man Utd earlier in the season, so had to look for a way out in January. He ended up joining West Ham on loan for the rest of the season. What has followed has been incredible, as he has scored nine goals from 11 appearances for the Hammers.
That form has put him firmly back in the England picture ahead of Euro 2020. It has also led to renewed speculation about his future at club level.
There is no option to buy in the agreement that West Ham struck to take him on loan. As things stand, Lingard will return to Man Utd in the summer, where he remains under contract for another year.
West Ham are exploring a permanent deal, though, and it is believed that Lingard would like to make that move.
But the London club face competition for his signature. There have been links with other teams from the capital such as Arsenal and Tottenham.
Now, interest from abroad is resurfacing as well. According to Sky Sport Italia (as cited by Calciomercato), Nice want to take Lingard to Ligue 1.
The French side were a contender for his signature in January. Lingard held talks with them before they ruled out the proposed loan deal.
Nice’s president poured cold water on the rumours at the time. But now it seems they may be back in the hunt.
The report claims Nice are still in the background, even though West Ham want to sign him permanently.
It seems unlikely that Lingard would want to move to a club currently mid-table in Ligue 1 when both West Ham and his parent club could qualify for the Champions League. But it all depends on what offers can be presented.
West Ham still appear to be the favourites in the race to sign the 28-year-old, though. In fact, Nice’s interest may have cooled somewhat.
But they are apparently still considering a bid for Lingard and could launch a bid of their own.
Man Utd told to sell Lingard
There could even still be a future for Lingard at Old Trafford given his revived form. However, it seems they are more likely to cash in on him given the lack of time remaining on his contract.
One of their former players believes they could take advantage of Lingard’s resurgence by offering him as bait in a swap deal for other targets.
“I think Jesse Lingard, since his loan to West Ham, has probably been the best player in the Premier League for the past six, eight weeks,” Luke Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“It’s been fantastic for him and has perhaps shown it is time for him to move to pastures new.
“If that was possible, and Lingard gets to play week in, week out at a club like Aston Villa, and Man United can attract one of the best players in the league in Jack Grealish, who’s got a huge future in front of him, that could be a fantastic piece of business on both sides.”