According to West Ham Football, Jesse Lingard’s chances of joining the club on a free transfer are “diminishing” as other players vie for his place.
On September 19, the editor of Six Foot Two revealed through Twitter that while the ultimate decision will be made by David Moyes, the free agent may be “surplus to requirements” and “struggle to get game time” if he is handed a contract.
Following his departure from Nottingham Forest, the former Irons loanee has been practicing with the club during the summer, but no move has been made.
The Hammers can still sign him despite the Premier League squad registration deadline having already past as they have fewer that 25 players over the age of 21 at the club.
Pricey back up?
Whether Lingard should be brought in officially all depends on how much it will cost West Ham and how much Moyes thinks he will get out of him, obviously.
Given he has been there for the taking for weeks now without being signed suggests the manager doesn’t think he can get that much out of him currently.
He is not going to get picked ahead of at least Jarrod Bowen, James Ward-Prowse, Lucas Paqueta or Mohammed Kudus in attacking midfield spots, so there is little chance of starting unless he suddenly regains past form.
And in terms of back-ups for the supporting attack roles there is Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals and, in theory, Maxwel Cornet to contend with.
It wouldn’t be a huge stretch for Moyes to prefer Lingard to the Ivorian who has never really got off the ground under the Irons boss, and the futures off both Benrahma and Fornals are unresolved.
So if any of them were to leave in January there would be space for the manager to bring in the man he has been chasing for the past two years, but until then it perhaps doesn’t make a huge amount of sense unless it is a bargain deal.
In other West Ham news, a failed move to the London Stadium has left a talented player in a bad situation.