Jesse Lingard’s form since arriving at the London Stadium has seen the clamber for him to join on a permanent deal increase amongst the fanbase with every passing game.
When negotiating a loan deal with Manchester United, West Ham were unable to insert an option to buy clause into the contract. This means any attempt to sign the attacking-midfielder will begin from a fresh starting point in the summer.
A time where, unfortunately, Lingard’s value may have soared thanks to his impressive performances in claret and blue.
The 28-year-old has hit the ground running at West Ham, scoring three and assisting one goal in his four appearances for David Moyes’ side.
“[He] is great personality as well and the lads have taken to him and I’m so happy we’ve got him here now at west ham and hopefully we can do that for much longer with next season as well.”
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke about Lingard’s move in January and publicly at least left the door open for the player to return to Old Trafford.
“We want Jesse to come back here revitalised and having shown at West Ham how good a player he is,” he said, shortly before his switch was confirmed.
“He’s just been unfortunate with a couple of issues, some periods he had to stay away from us with COVID, isolation and close contact.
“[The] rest of the team has done well, little to no injuries, not forced his way into the team, come back and show he’s a Manchester United player through and through.”
Lingard is certainly looking revitalised and if he keeps playing as he has been the truth to Solskjaer’s claim he still has a future at Old Trafford will be thoroughly tested.
A report in the Times claims that the absence of an option to buy clause for West Ham was something that Solskjaer insisted on, leading to speculation he could return to Old Trafford and fight for a place in the team.
If Lingard remains unwanted by Manchester United then West Ham will be at the front of the queue to bring him in permanently.
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The England international has just one year left on his current deal at United, so a decision on his long-term future is likely to be made before the 2021-22 season.
Any move from West Ham for Lingard is likely to cost the club more than £20million for his services. The England international is in the prime of his career yet with only 12 months remaining on his contract at Old Trafford by that point an astronomical fee is unrealistic from Manchester United.
English players always come at a premium but whether the West Ham board would sanction a transfer above the £25m, plus add-ons they paid for Said Benrahma is open to debate.
The one card Manchester United do have in their favour is knowing how much David Moyes and the club want their man.
Lingard to West Ham could become the transfer saga of the summer.