Sky Sports reports this week would suggest that Spurs are tapping up prime West Ham target Jesse Lingard over a move.
One year ago Manchester United outcast Lingard was gearing up to make his memorable move to West Ham.
The switch reignited his flagging career and thrust the midfielder back into the spotlight and the England squad.
It has baffled many that Lingard chose to stay at Man United in the summer with David Moyes desperate to make his move to West Ham permanent.
Speculation has intensified with every passing week that West Ham – and more recently rivals Tottenham Hotspur – want to sign Lingard in January.
Indeed over the last few days there has been increased talk that Tottenham could now be frontrunners.
But reports from Sky Sports this week may land Spurs in a spot of bother with the Premier League.
Lingard is out of contract at Manchester United in the summer.
As a result the reported West Ham and Tottenham target is free to speak to foreign clubs this month over a pre-contract agreement with a view to a free transfer at the end of the season.
Sky Sports reports would suggest Spurs are tapping up prime West Ham target Jesse Lingard
Note the key words ‘foreign clubs’.
That means if West Ham or Tottenham – or any other English side – want to sign Lingard on a free in the summer they would have to wait until then to discuss any such move.
But Sky Sports claims Tottenham have been talking to Lingard’s representatives about a free transfer in the summer – which would amount to tapping up.
“Tottenham are keen to sign Jesse Lingard and have approached his representatives about a summer move,” Sky Sports report.
“Lingard is currently out of favour at Manchester United and his contract is due to expire at the end of the season, when he could join Spurs on a free transfer.”
It would be naive to think agents and clubs do not hold off the record conversations.
But the rules are clear and Moyes is an old school manager who respects them and has made it clear recently he will not discuss players at other clubs – INCLUDING LINGARD.
Sky may have got it all wrong of course – as they often do.
Tottenham should not be able to gain an advantage over the likes of West Ham in the battle for Lingard by bending the regulations which are set out in black and white by the Premier League.