Nottingham Forest are to break their wage structure for Jesse Lingard in one of the signings of the transfer window, with West Ham’s best failed bid revealed.
The former Manchester United midfielder is a man in demand this summer following the expiry of his contract. He has attracted offers from a host of Premier League clubs but has taken his time to decide.
That is because he has been holding out for £180,000 per week. Newcastle wanted him in January before United and Lingard priced them out of a deal.
West Ham subsequently emerged as the leading contenders for Lingard after his fantastic 2020/21 loan spell there.
As The Guardian reports, Steve Cooper’s side are paying Lingard close to £200,000 per week in perhaps the biggest statement of their ambition yet.
What’s more, Lingard underwent his medical on Wednesday evening, allowing Forest to quickly seal the deal.
Lingard enjoyed standout spells in the Man Utd team, especially at the start of his Old Trafford career. His form took him to the 2018 World Cup, but his West Ham loan was arguably his best spell thereafter.
West Ham suffer Lingard shock
And The Guardian adds that the Hammers found Forest’s statement of intent a ‘huge shock’.
David Moyes’ side’s best effort was £150,000 per week and they hoped Lingard would compromise.
However, they can certainly not match £200,000 per week.
Indeed, Lingard feels he can get what he is worth and would – like at West Ham – be offered regular minutes.
The difference, of course, is that Forest have gazumped West Ham in financial terms.
Coup for Forest but a Hammer blow
It is a bold move from Forest to sign Lingard in the way that they have.
They are only just back in the Premier League and so their first port of call will be looking to survive.
As such, if the worst happens, it would not be a good look – even if they do have relegation clauses in place.
What's next for Jesse Lingard?
Jesse Lingard's future is now up in the air as he has been linked with West Ham and Everton.
On the flipside, the deal clearly shows the ambition from Forest, seemingly not preparing for a relegation battle.
As for Lingard’s choice, the increased salary offer has no doubt played its part.
He could have moved to West Ham and been a major influence in a top-four battle, but making a name at Forest – especially guiding them comfortably clear of a relegation battle – would also do his career the world of good.