West Ham and Leicester target Jesse Lingard could reportedly be available for £15 million in January, as talks drag on over a contact extension at Manchester United.
The 28-year-old excelled on loan at the Hammers in the second half of last season, earning a recall to the England team.
His contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season, leaving the Red Devils at risk of losing him on a free transfer.
Lingard has been offered an increased salary of around £135,000 per week and he is open to staying, but wants more regular game time than he’s currently getting under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He’s yet to start a Premier League or Champions League game this season for the Red Devils, despite scoring from the bench in back-to-back league matches against Newcastle and West Ham last month.
This looks like a real opportunity for Lingard’s suitors, and you would imagine West Ham will be in pole position after his success there last season.
The England international was superb in London, scoring nine goals and providing five assists in 16 league games to help David Moyes’ side qualify for Europe, and £15m would represent spectacular value if he could produce that kind of form again.
It would be a shame for him to be left to rust on the bench, but at United the fierce competition for places means that he’s unlikely to get the assurances he wants for a starting spot.
There will of course be an emotional element for Lingard, who was born in Warrington and came through the United youth system.
But with the World Cup little more than a year away, a move to an ambitious club that can offer him a more central role could be in the player’s best interests.
Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get three issues delivered for just £3. The offer ends October 17, 2021.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.