The outlet claims that Lingard was available for £20 million last summer but no buyout clause was included in his loan deal to the Hammers. United have, it is claimed, been encouraged by the England man’s performances for the London side and now think they can get close to £40 million for him.
‘That causes a problem for West Ham because they were unable to secure a guaranteed option to make his loan deal permanent during negotiations,’ The Sun says.
‘And if his fee climbs towards £40m, it may be too much for them to pay.
‘There is hope that the 28-year-old has enjoyed himself so much at the London Stadium that he tells United he wants to make the move there on a full-time basis.
‘West Ham boss David Moyes said: “I’m sure at this moment in time we will say yes, we’d love to have Jesse, because of how well he’s doing.
‘”But we’ve still got nine games to go to judge and assess Jesse, just like United will have a period to think about do they want to sell or keep him?
‘“That would be a decision we would all need to get to but, no, there’s nothing in place at the moment.”’.
Even before the loan move, United made it clear that they would put a premium on Lingard’s fee because he is English and an academy product. The Sun’s report suggests that they are now feeling all the more bullish despite the precarious state of football’s finances due to Covid-19.
Lingard has certainly impressed at the London Stadium, but even the original £20 million asking price is well over the valuation registered on Transfermarkt of £13 million, up from £9m back in December. Any attempts to get more still are likely to lead to a frustrating summer and a return to Old Trafford for the 28-year-old.