Everton have joined the race to sign Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.
Lingard has returned to the Red Devils following an impressive loan spell at West Ham over the second half of last season, with the 28-year-old scoring nine goals and providing four assists in just 16 league appearances at the London Stadium.
West Ham had been keen to sign the England international on a permanent basis following his role in the club’s qualification for the Europa League, but are reluctant to meet United’s £30m asking price for a player who has entered the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.
Everton’s summer transfer business has already got under way with the signings of Asmir Begovic and Andros Townsened, whilst talks are ongoing over the arrival of Bayer Leverkusen winger Demarai Gray.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer discussed Lingard’s future this week since his return to the club for pre-season, insisting the midfielder remains a part of his plans and that the star is keen to ‘fight for his place’.
“Jesse has come back, he’s been bright and he wants to fight for his place,” Solskjaer said following Man Utd’s first pre-season game this weekend.
“There’s nothing better than seeing players willing to fight for their place. Of course, what he did towards the end of the season, that is the true Jesse.
”That’s what we know he is capable of. I think we saw towards the end [of our own season] that we lacked maybe some options at times.
“He’s still in my plans. I expect him at Man Utd at the start of the season.”