West Ham have a back-up plan in place if they fail to sign Jesse Lingard this summer, claims a report.
Lingard is currently back at Old Trafford after his eye-catching loan stint with West Ham last season.
The 28-year-old barely featured for United in the first half of the campaign, but 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.
But on Sunday Lingard turned out for the Red Devils in their pre-season clash at Derby. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted to jhave him back.
“Jesse has come back. He’s been bright and he wants to fight for his place,” said Solskjaer, following the 2-1 win at Pride Park. “There’s nothing better than seeing players willing to fight for their place.
“Of course, what he did towards the end of the season, that is the true Jesse. That’s what we know he is capable of.
“I think we saw towards the end [of our own season] that we lacked maybe some options at times.”
He is believed to favour a move to West Ham and Hammers boss David Moyes has made it clear that he would like Lingard to sign on a long-term deal.
But with less than 12 months left on his deal, West Ham are unwilling to meet the price tag, as well as the England man’s wages.
And, according to 90min, Moyes has a Plan B in the form of Chelsea’s Ross Barkley.
Moyes wants Barkley reunion
Moyes worked with the 27-year-old at Goodison Park and is keen on a reunion.
Barkley joined Aston Villa on loan last season and made a good start before fading.
The 33-cap England man was hindered by injuries though. While “off-field activities” meant that Dean Smith opted against a permanent transfer.
Barkley has returned to Chelsea. But it’s claimed Thomas Tuchel has told the midfielder he can move on, with two years on his contract to run.
The report says that West Ham’s preference is to secure Lingard, but “a return to east London is looking increasingly unlikely”.
There is rival interest in Lingard and the Hammers will not pay through the nose for a player, who will be a free agent next summer.