The summer transfer speculation has begun already According to one report from the Sun, West Ham fear Manchester United have no intention of selling Jesse Lingard this summer.
The report claims United think they can only get around £15million for the player, giving his contract situation. They could instead reintegrate him into their squad next season.
But United should take the money and run when it comes to the 28-year-old. especially if his price spikes from Euro 2020 performances.
Given Lingard’s impact on loan, and the fact the Hammers will be enjoying European football next season, United could push for £20m. Even a fee in the region of £18m would be great business for a player who has rarely hit the heights at Old Trafford.
It is easy to forget that Lingard has flattered to deceive for much of his time at United. A return of 33 goals and 20 assists in 210 first-team appearances speaks volumes.
With nine goals during his temporary stint, he suddenly looks a player reborn. But that is in no small part due to his place in the squad.
Lingard is the main man; something he will never be at United.
The presence of Bruno Fernandes means Lingard will never play in his preferred position when the Portuguese is fit and firing.
Donny van de Beek is expected to get better next season, while United’s next generation will be chomping at the bit.
Lingard is part of United’s past, not their future. They could bring him back but, in so doing, they would have to offer him a new contract or lose him for nothing in 2022.
But a new deal would be a repeat of the mistake United have made with the likes of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo before him.
Time for goodbye
United rarely make decent money from player sales. With Lingard, they can bring in a tidy sum that could then be reinvested.
It is either that or welcome back a fringe player who would barely feature either in the league or in Europe.
That is not what the player or the club would want. Lingard proved during his early games at West Ham what he is capable of. If he is sold this summer, he still has time to build a legacy.
The report United would consider holding onto him is likely just speculation, with both clubs playing a cagey game at the start of the transfer window. It would be a silly move from United to keep him put.
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