West Ham seem to have moved on from Jesse Lingard and are now in ‘concrete talks’ with Napoli over the signing of Hirving Lozano, according to a report.
The Irons have been interested in re-signing Lingard ever since his fantastic loan spell with them in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign. West Ham couldn’t land Lingard during the remainder of his Manchester United contract as the Red Devils wanted to keep him.
The attacking midfielder is now a free agent after Man Utd opted against extending his deal. This has given West Ham hope in their transfer pursuit.
However, David Moyes’ side are still struggling to complete the move and now face competition from another Premier League club.
According to The Guardian reporter Jacob Steinberg, Nottingham Forest are offering Lingard a higher weekly wage than West Ham.
And the newly promoted side are now close to capturing him on a free transfer. This would be a major blow for Moyes and West Ham after pursuing his signature for so long.
However, the east London club is already getting to work on transfer alternatives. As per The Guardian, they have set their sights on Blackburn ace Ben Brereton Diaz.
He is not the only player under consideration, as reports in Italy put Napoli’s Lozano on West Ham’s radar.
West Ham in talks over Hirving Lozano move
The 26-year-old is similar to Lingard in that he can play as a winger on either flank, or down the middle as an attacking midfielder.
Last season, he notched six goals and six assists in all competitions as Napoli finished third in Serie A.
Lozano’s contract expires in June 2024, meaning Napoli do not have to rush into a transfer decision. But Tuttomercatoweb (via Football Italia) claim ‘concrete talks’ have taken place between West Ham and the Italian club.
Napoli are open to a sale, although this will only happen if their demands are met. They want £17.1million.
This would be a significant sum for West Ham to fork out. However, Napoli will still be taking a hit on the Mexican after giving PSV £40.5m for him in August 2019.
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.
West Ham officials now need to decide if spending £17.1m on Lozano is worth it. They could have gotten Lingard on a free, but look set to have missed that opportunity.
Another potential stumbling block in the chase for Lozano is his wages. He earns over £82k a week in Naples and would want more than this when moving to the Premier League.
West Ham are wary of damaging their wage structure and could resultantly walk away from negotiations, unless both Napoli and Lozano drop their requests.
The Hammers also like a Burnley player and could move for him if the Lozano discussions fall through entirely.