Jesse Lingard has revitalised his career after a loan move and now West Ham want to make it permanent – but it will not come cheap.
Lingard has six goals and two assists from eight games for the Hammers since joining from Manchester United.
The 28-year old’s stellar form has also seen him called up to the England squad for the first time in 18 months.
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Sky Sportsreports that West Ham will “do whatever it takes” to sign him permanently this summer but there are concerns from their camp that the Red Devils will try drive up his asking price accordingly.
The Daily Mail is already reporting that United are expected to put a sum of as much as £30 million ($A54m) on Lingard and are confident in getting as much given his stunning form reversal.
Gary Neville told Monday Night Football that Lingard’s turnaround could in fact see Manchester United opt to take him back instead of cashing in immediately.
“He’s a really good player. He’s going to have a great career,” Neville said.
“Manchester United have sent him out to West Ham to boost his career, maybe with the thought of boosting his price tag, but they might be thinking, ‘actually, we might want him back, he could be a real help to us’.
“If Jesse wants to play, and you can see he does want to play, then he needs to leave, because he’s not going to play every single week for a Manchester United team that’s competing for second or first place in the league.
“But if he’s willing to go back there and compete and be the player that Dan James has been for the last few weeks, in and out, then there’s no doubt he can play for Manchester United.”
LIVERPOOL TO LOCK DOWN KEY QUARTET
Meanwhile, Liverpool are reportedly looking at extending four key men in an attempt to bolster their playing stocks ahead of the summer.
The Times reports that the Reds are looking to secure new deals for Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Salah has been linked to a move to either Real Madrid or Barcelona but his contract does not end until June 2023.
Talks with Salah will reportedly be prioritised given his importance to Liverpool’s attacking, recording 26 goals in all competitions this season despite not being surrounded by the same quality.
Van Dijk and Fabinho are also locked up until 2023 while Alisson’s deal runs until the end of the following year.
AGUERO LINKED TO SHOCK TOTTENHAM SWITCH
One of the other big storylines to follow is the future of Manchester City star Sergio Aguero.
The 32-year old will leave City after a decade at the club, set to celebrate with a fifth Premier League title.
Barcelona have been heavily linked to Aguero but a switch to another Premier League team is not off the cards, with Chelsea and Tottenham linked to the gun striker.
“Sergio Aguero is willing to forego Champions League football next season to stay in the Premier League and prove himself away from Manchester City,” The Telegraph’sMike McGrath writes.
“Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are two clubs Aguero would consider and both are far from guaranteed playing among Europe’s elite in 2021/22.
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“There are a clutch of clubs he would consider in the Premier League and it is understood the 32-year-old would remain in the country for the right offer and is open to proving he can add to his 257 goals in England.”
Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel was asked about the striker last week and any potential interest in signing him but remained coy.
“We have full respect for Manchester City and for Sergio Aguero, who is a big player for them. There are no words needed from me about the achievements of this guy, he is a world-class player,” he said.
“But don’t forget, we compete in three competitions for Manchester City so I will never speak about their players and talk about a player’s future. It’s their player and I expect they do the same with our players.”
While that may be the case, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while not ruling out a play at Aguero, previously said he does not think the 32-year old would “want to go to a local rival.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has shut down the possibility of making an offer for Aguero.