Manchester United playmaker Jesse Lingard is tempted by the possibility of a return to West Ham United after seeing the Hammers carry last season’s strong form into the new campaign, according to reports. The 28-year-old spent a fruitful period on loan in east London during the first half of the year, helping them to achieve Europa League qualification with nine goals and five assists in 16 appearances.
Lingard was targeted by West Ham over a permanent move for his services during the summer, but ultimately chose to stay and fight for his place at United.
However, the England man has only played 63 minutes in the Premier League since the beginning of the season.
He was hoping to work his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans at Old Trafford, but has failed to do so and looks set to move on in the near future.
The midfielder’s current deal at United will expire at the end of the season, but it seems as though he would prefer to end his Red Devils career when the transfer window reopens in January.
Lingard has opened up to the possibility of a mid-season exit, with West Ham keen on bringing him back at the turn of the year, according to Eurosport.
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The report claims that Lingard has been impressed by the Hammers’ imperious form in his absence, with David Moyes’ side currently occupying fourth place in the Premier League table.
Their impressive start to the season has led him to believe that a January return to the London Stadium would be in his best interests.
Newcastle have also been credited with an interest in Lingard, who narrowly missed out on a place in the England squad that reached the final of Euro 2020 over the summer.
However, he appears to be set on rejoining West Ham after thoroughly enjoying his previous spell at the club last season.
Moyes is also said to be confident that he will receive the necessary backing from West Ham’s board to pursue Lingard’s signature at the turn of the year.
It seems unlikely that Lingard will be keen on renewing his contract at United after being forced to play a bit-part role under Solskjaer as of late.
However, it remains to be seen whether West Ham’s interest will materialise into a permanent swoop when January rolls around.
Former England striker Stan Collymore recently urged Lingard to speak to his agent and plan out the next stage of his career with a new club, insisting that he will never make the grade as a regular starter at Old Trafford.
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“At 28, it’s now or never for Jesse Lingard at Manchester United,” Collymore told the Sunday People back in September.
“He should be given a chance to shine by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over 10 to 15 games and, if he can grasp that opportunity, then the team will be better for it.
“There are no questions about Lingard, who showed us last season with West Ham what he is capable of.
“So if Solskjaer doesn’t give him the same chance the others all get, he needs to sit down with his agents and see what’s on offer.
“I’d even be having a conversation about getting out this January if I were to find myself playing 20 minutes here and there and then missing games.
“The Hammers would take him in a heartbeat, as would others in England, Spain and Italy.”