West Ham United first-team coach Stuart Pearce has admitted he wants Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard to join the club this summer.
Lingard enjoyed a terrific loan spell at the Hammers last term, spending the second half of the season in east London.
The 28-year-old scored nine goals and provided five assists in 16 Premier League appearances for West Ham.
However, Man Utd’s £30million asking price has put the Londoners off making an offer to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis.
Hammers boss David Moyes is a big fan of the player, saying in May that he was “hopeful” of signing Lingard in the summer transfer window.
“I couldn’t say any more than I’m hopeful Jesse might want to come here, that’s up to Manchester United, but he’s been a positive signing,” he said.
His points have been echoed by Pearce, who said to talkSPORT on Monday: “He’s a special lad, the players really like him and his ability shone.
“We’d like him to come and join us, that’s been an open secret. At the moment it looks like he’s vying for a place in the Man Utd team.”
Lingard featured a lot for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during pre-season but tested positive for Covid-19 before their final friendly against Everton.
He was then left out of the United squad for their Premier League opener against Leeds United.
Former Red Devils right-back Gary Neville has said Lingard should leave the club to benefit his career.
“Jesse needs to leave for Jesse. He got pride last year playing at West Ham,” he said on Sky Sports’ The Overlap fan debate.
“He’s the man there and he’ll come back here and play 15 games, and be a good squad player, but he doesn’t want that again surely after what he experienced last season.
“Jesse needs to leave for Jesse Lingard.”
As well as West Ham; Everton and Leicester have been linked with a move for the midfielder.
Toffees boss Rafael Benitez is keen on bringing Lingard to Goodison Park, according to The Sun, and if Leicester City lose James Maddison to Arsenal, they could attempt to bring the United man in as a replacement.