Our hopes of seeing Jesse Lingard back at West Ham next season have taken a bit of a blow over the last week.
The 28-year-old impressed in the second-half of a friendly match between Manchester United and Derby County last weekend, which prompted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to admit that Lingard “is in his plans” at the moment.
Hearing those words will have been a crushing blow to everyone associated with the Hammers, given the impact Lingard had during his six-month loan spell in east London last season – scoring nine and assisting five in 16 Premier League appearances.
But while it’s looking increasingly unlikely Lingard will be playing for West Ham in 2021/2022, Evening Standard football journalist Jack Rosser thinks there might still be a small chance of the Hammers getting their man before the end of the summer transfer window, which closes at 11pm on August 31st.
Speaking to West Ham World, Rosser said: “If we get a few games in and well, even a few weeks closer to the season, it becomes a bit clearer to Lingard that he’s not going to be staying or playing a huge part, then he might look to leave and West Ham could be an option again.
“But I think at the moment, his priority is staying and impressing at United.”
Of course, waiting until the beginning of the season to see if Lingard’s situation at Old Trafford drastically changes is a dangerous gamble West Ham can’t really afford to take.
David Moyes will surely want to have most of his key new signings signed and embedded into the squad by the time the Hammers kick-off against Newcastle on the opening weekend of the season. Waiting until then to see whether Lingard is available or not doesn’t leave much time to find someone if it turns out he isn’t, with just two weeks left before the window closes.
So you would think West Ham will be looking for a decision sooner rather than later, so that they can turn their attention to other targets if their love affair with Jesse Lingard is ended by a change of heart from the Red Devils.