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West Ham identify €22m-valued Man Utd star as January transfer target

It may feel like the summer transfer window has just ended but the next one is just around the corner and as ever, it will be dominated by speculation surrounding a selection of Manchester United players.

One of the players certain for extensive coverage over the next months is Jesse Lingard. The 28-year-old enjoyed a stellar half-season with West Ham in the last campaign, scoring nine goals and assisting a further four in just 16 appearances for the Hammers.

His fine form earned him a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England squad and he is back in the mix under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as well, albeit he has been used sparingly by the Norwegian.

Lingard has been left frustrated over his lack of playing time this season and talks over a new contract with the club have collapsed, making an exit for nothing next year increasingly likely.

An earlier departure is, however, possible. According to The Telegraph, West Ham will make an attempt to bring the midfielder back to the London Stadium as early as in January.

Any deal won’t be straightforward, however. The London club fears that Manchester United won’t sanction a mid-season transfer due to a potential battle for a top-four position in the Premier League.

As per the report, Lingard’s preference is to leave Manchester United on a six-month loan in January before signing a long-term deal elsewhere next summer. Furthermore, Lingard is said to be keen on a move abroad, with the Italian Serie A thought to be his preferred destination.

Despite having less than one year remaining on his current Old Trafford deal, Lingard is valued at a staggering €22m by Transfermarkt – a figure which could tempt United to sell in the upcoming window.

Read more: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds crisis talks with Man Utd players including Cristiano Ronaldo

SN’s verdict on Lingard’s potential exit…
Some supporters will be reluctant to admit it but looking at the table, West Ham are in a better position than Manchester United, and letting Lingard rejoin David Moyes’ side could be detrimental to United’s Champions League hopes.

Over a month ago, that statement would’ve been laughed at but that’s how poor United’s season has developed – Solskjaer’s side has managed just one win from their last six Premier League games.

From the player’s point of view, it would make sense to seek an exit. He is barely being considered by Solskjaer at the moment, despite his impressive cameos against Villarreal and West Ham.

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