Manchester United could block West Ham United’s approach to sign Jesse Lingard during the January transfer window, a report from The Telegraph claims.
Lingard had an excellent loan spell with the Hammers during the backend of last season, registering nine goals and five assists from just 16 appearances across all competitions.
David Moyes’ side were fancied to re-sign him on a permanent deal over the summer, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it clear that he wanted to keep the 28-year-old at United.
Lingard has since been restricted to just 63 Premier League minutes. He has scored twice including a winner at West Ham but still appears out of favour for a starting role.
He has no plans of renewing his contract, which expires next summer.
United would be open to selling him at the turn of the year but are reluctant to do business with the Hammers.
The London outfit are now considered as potential top-four rivals after their stunning start to the campaign, and they may have to wait until the end of the campaign for a possible reunion.
Lingard is keen on pursuing a temporary move away from United in January before securing a permanent contract elsewhere next summer.
He is open to taking up a new challenge in Serie A.
Solskjaer has spoken fondly about Lingard in recent months. In his press conference yesterday, the Norwegian said that the attacker provides energy and quality in the squad and is ready for selection.
Despite this, it is clear that he is not an assured starter for the league and European games.
Lingard can’t afford to hang around at the club with the World Cup in Qatar in 12 months.
His excellent showing with the Hammers saw him recalled to the England national side but was dropped by Gareth Southgate during the recent international break due to the lack of game time.
United are unlikely to boost the Hammers’ top-four prospects by allowing Lingard to join them in January, and the £19.8 million-rated star may have to look elsewhere, probably on a loan deal.
Newcastle United have also been credited with an interest, but their precarious position in the drop zone could hinder their chances of convincing Lingard this winter.
There have been claims that he could move to Serie A. Roma may enter the race.
Lingard played his best football at United under Jose Mourinho, and a reunion could be on the cards.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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