Jesse Lingard has opened talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about his Manchester United future, according to Claret & Hugh.
The report suggests the attacker has doubts over his first-team chances at Old Trafford and hints that a permanent move to West Ham is certainly of interest to him.
Lingard is at the very top of David Moyes’ wishlist this summer after the 28-year-old scored nine goals and laid on five assists during his six-month London Stadium loan spell last season.
There were reports that Man United’s valuation and Lingard’s wage demands may be difficult for the Hammers to match this summer, while transfer insider Dean Jones has said publically that it could take around £30m to tempt the Red Devils into selling.
Meanwhile, Jadon Sancho’s impending arrival at United surely further reduces Lingard’s chances of forcing his way into Solskjaer’s plans in the near future.
It means a permanent deal could be a very real possibility for Moyes as he looks to add squad depth ahead of next season’s Europa League campaign.
The impact Lingard had on the team last season was nothing short of sensational and it was his arrival that turned a top-six dream into a reality.
Bringing him back to the club this summer, at whatever the cost, would no doubt give the club and the players a huge boost as they prepare for a very busy season that could involve over 50 fixtures, depending on the success in cup competitions.
Keeping him in east London means Moyes’ tactics and attacking plans can remain relatively unchanged from last season – when they were so effective after Lingard’s arrival – with just the need for another striker left this summer.
If these reports are true, then we might soon start learning of an official bid from the club as the transfer window starts to pick up pace, but there have so far been no reports of an official approach by West Ham at this time.
However, with talks now underway in Manchester, the club have moved a step closer, albeit a small one, in being able to execute their transfer plan to bring Lingard back to Stratford for good, and the bookies still have West Ham down as clear favourites to do just that.