According to a report by Fichajes [via FootballTransferTavern] West Ham United have already made the first contact with Manchester United over the availability of Lingard for a permanent deal in the summer – with the Red Devils informing the Irons he will not be sold for less than €22 million (£18.8 million).
A previous report from Claret & Hugh has indicated that West Ham will prioritise the signing of Lingard in the summer along with a new striker as two of the fundamental transfer objectives during the summer window.
As a result, West Ham will pull out all the stops to ensure Lingard remains in London, with the Hammers poised to move ‘heaven and earth’ in the words of Claret & Hugh to sign the playmaker.
West Ham fans will be all-too aware of Lingard’s offensive acumen, but a reminder that Lingard has scored 4 goals and managed 2 assists in just 6 senior league appearances for the Irons this season exacerbates the paramountcy of Lingard to David Moyes’ recruitment plans.
At just £18.8 million, that surely has to be a bargain for an experienced playmaker with a proven transformative effect on West Ham’s recent results.
Particularly if the Irons are indeed successful in their push for European football next season, Lingard could be an essential depth option to compete for the no. 10 role behind the striker.
Moyes’ principled approach to recruitment means that identifying Lingard as a top target must have weight behind it.