West ham manager David Moyes is still keen to make Jesse Lingard’s move to the London Stadium permanent, but admits the ball is out of his court.
The Hammers ended the season with a 3-0 victory over Southampton and have qualified for the Europa League in what has been a year of overachievement for them.
Lingard’s arrival in January was a big contributing factor to the London side’s success, as he notched nine goals and five assists in just 16 games for the club.
‘I hope Jesse’s here [next season], we’d like to keep him, he’s done an exceptional job for us but there’s no guarantees, he’s not our player,” Moyes said after the Southampton game (via The Evening Standard).
‘But I hope Jesse realises we’ve been good for him as well, and that he joined a club on the up.’
The 28-year-old has clearly enjoyed his time in London but has remained tight-lipped about whether he would like to stay there permanently.
Lingard told West Ham’s official website on Saturday:
‘It’s been great, I’ve met a lot of new people and made a countless number of friends, so to take on this challenge has been amazing and to take away the memories will be special.’
Many observers noted that the use of the word ‘memories’ could hint that he does not intend to stay, but it may be that he simply does not know if a deal can be struck between the two clubs.
Various figures have been suggested in different reports, but it would certainly seem there is a gap between what West Ham can or are willing to pay – perhaps around £15 million – and what United want for the player – perhaps around £25m.
Lingard only has one year left on his contract at Old Trafford and with the optional one-year extension having already been activated, he would leave on a free if United do not sell him this summer.
There is, of course, always the chance that he stays on at United and signs another deal but despite his excellent form at West Ham, it seems probable that ship has sailed.