West Ham’s long-term attempts to bring Jesse Lingard back to east London appear to be edging closer to a climax.

The Hammers have been eager to bring the ex-Manchester United midfielder back to the club permanently after his successful six-month loan spell in the second half of the 20/21 campaign.

Lingard registered nine goals and five assists in just 16 appearances for the Hammers during that spell, but West Ham were unable to reach an agreement over Lingard’s signature in the summer of 2021.

Lingard remained at Old Trafford but spent much of the season on the bench, leading to him leaving his boyhood club at the expiration of his contract last month.

Now, with several offers on the table, Lingard is reportedly closer to deciding which club he wants to sign for, and West Ham are confident he’s going to pick them.

That’s the view of West Ham insider ExWHUemployee, who has revealed that the club is “becoming more and more confident” that Lingard will favour a return to London over anywhere else.

Speaking on the West Ham Way Patreon, he said: “The club are becoming more and more confident that Jesse Lingard will sign for us.

“It is thought that Newcastle have also made a move but that the player is keener to come back to London and be at a team he knows he can settle in.

“We are hopeful for a final answer from him very shortly.”

Whatever happens, Lingard’s decision will bring an end to a transfer saga that has had several twists and turns along the way.

West Ham fans will always admire Lingard for what he helped the club achieve during his short spell at London Stadium 18 months ago, playing a huge role in securing a top-six finish in the Premier League and Europa League group stage qualification for the first ever time in the Hammers’ history.

Since then, there have been times when his return felt inevitable, while at other times it felt like we may never see him wear the famous claret and blue again.

But now it appears West Ham will finally get a concrete decision from Lingard very soon and, if Ex is right, we might just get a happy ending.