Arsenal are set to join the race to sign Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard, following his impressive for West Ham United in recent months.
The 28-year-old had endured a pretty dismal last 18 months or so, with the first-half of this season, in particular, seeing him feature just three times in all competitions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, the Red Devils eventually allowing him to depart on a six-month loan deal in January.
After linking up with former United boss David Moyes at the London Stadium, the attacking midfielder has been mightily impressive, having registered six goals and three assists in just eight Premier League games for the club.
Not only has that led to hopes of potential inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s England squad this summer, but it has also boosted the Hammers top four hopes, with Champions League football still a very real possibility for next season.
Such form has also led to potential speculation that the England international could well join Moyes’ men on a permanent deal at the end of the season, although, as per the Sun, the east London club are set to be joined in the race for his signature by Arsenal.
The United academy graduate has just one year remaining on his current contract and while his parent club would like to extend that deal, potentially just to boost the asking price, it looks as if he is set to leave his boyhood club for good.
The report suggests that the Red Devils are keen to use Lingard as a makeweight in a possible deal for midfield star Declan Rice, although West Ham are set to rubbish any such offer.
Solskjaer and co. are hoping to secure a fairly sizeable transfer fee this summer, in order to avoid seeing him leave for free at the end of the next campaign, should he not agree to a new deal.
Although West Ham are the frontrunners to snap him up permanently in the summer, it seems as if the Gunners also retain an interest, the club reportedly having been interested in a loan deal for the player at the back end of last year.
Any such deal was seemingly shut down by United, with the club not willing to ‘lend’ the player to a potential top four rival, although perhaps ironically, Lingard is now spearheading the Hammers unlikely push for fourth spot.