Former Premier League defender Danny Mills has claimed that West Ham United could sign Jesse Lingard from Manchester United for just £5m in January.
The Lowdown: Lingard on the move
Lingard won the hearts of many Irons fans last season as he scored nine goals and set up another five as he helped David Moyes’ side to reach the Europa League group stage for the first time.
After missing out on Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, he reportedly rejected the chance to return to the Hammers and instead chose to fight for his place at Manchester United, but has only played four minutes of action in their three games thus far in the current campaign.
Lingard scored twice and assisted Bakayo Saka’s clincher in England’s 4-0 drubbing of Andorra at Wembley on Sunday as he continued his form from last season, but the 28-year-old remains on the periphery at Old Trafford for the time being despite being strongly linked with a return to the London Stadium during the summer.
The Latest: Mills makes transfer claim
Former England right-back Mills has claimed that the Hammers could sign Lingard permanently and sign him for a bargain fee. He stated that Manchester United ‘may just accept’ £5m in January for the midfielder, who has less than 12 months remaining on his contract.
Mills told Football Insider that West Ham could seize upon the 28-year-old’s contract uncertainty at Old Trafford, saying: “There will be part of him that wants to protect himself. I feel a bit for him because he’s done very, very well. He probably deserves better.
“It’s that tricky predicament now where he was a year left. He’s running out of contract time.
“Will Manchester United want to let him go out on loan at that stage? Unlikely, I would suggest. Maybe he won’t want to go out on loan at that stage either for fear of picking up an injury.
“Somebody will take a gamble on him come the end of the season. It’s just about whether they will take a game and take him if Man United don’t want to keep him.
“They may just accept £5million in the January transfer window to get it done and dusted.”
The Verdict: Lingard deserves the chance to play
Admittedly against a poor side, Lingard was the shining light in England’s World Cup qualifying victory over the weekend, scoring his first England goal since November 2018.
With Bruno Fernandes one of Manchester United’s star players, it looks likely that the 28-year-old will be a backup to the Portugal international, so his chances of being involved in the England setup could be limited unless a move materialises or unless he breaks into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first XI.
Lingard’s contract situation could be on West Ham’s radar, and if they can snap him for the £5m fee suggested by Mills, they will have grabbed a bargain, especially as his Transfermarkt value is almost four times that amount.
In other West Ham news, it has emerged why one summer target didn’t transfer to London Stadium. Find out more here.
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