West Ham United manager David Moyes has been given renewed hope of signing Jesse Lingard, a player the Hammers boss ‘loves’.
The Hammers have been linked with a move for Manchester United outcast Lingard for some time.
According to a report from The Star, West Ham have already held talks with the 28-year-old’s agent.
And reliable West Ham insider ExWHUemployee claimed Moyes ‘loves’ Lingard from their time together at Old Trafford, when speaking on the West Ham Way podcast last week (Wednesday January 6th).
West Ham interest in Moyes favourite Lingard complicated by Man United decision
Lingard’s contract was set to expire in the summer. But the midfielder’s future – and West Ham’s chances of signing him – seemed to be complicated by Manchester United’s decision to take up an option to extend it for another season.
Since then struggling Sheffield United have also been linked with a move to sign the England international.
But according to The Athletic West Ham should still have hope of signing Lingard.
The Athletic claim Man United only activated the contract extension to retain some value in Lingard for a sale.
Still hope for Hammers as report makes double claim
And the player does not fancy a move to Sheffield United.
“The main motivation for United (in extending Lingard’s contract) was to retain some value in a player who would otherwise have been a free agent in the summer,” The Athletic reports.
“Given Lingard’s pedigree as an international with 24 caps, who was important in England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, a number of clubs have made enquiries over his availability…
“One club to have advanced an approach to a degree is Sheffield United. Chris Wilder is looking for Premier League reinforcements to attempt a miraculous survival and conversations have taken place. But it is thought Lingard is reluctant to drop into a relegation battle and is happy to bide his time for alternative offers.”
One such alternative could very well be West Ham if Moyes gets his way.
Lingard could be a bargain but he won’t be coming on loan
The Hammers have had their transfer kitty boosted to the tune of £20m after selling Sebastien Haller to Ajax.
Most of that is expected to be spent on a replacement striker. But Manchester United will not be able to command a big fee Lingard and West Ham may get a relative bargain.
Contrary to some recent speculation, though, Moyes will not be able to take Lingard on loan.
West Ham have already filled their two domestic loan slots with Craig Dawson and Said Benrahma.
Unless one of those is made permanent ahead of time, any domestic loans are out of the question for Moyes.