The real reason why West Ham were unable to re-sign Jesse Lingard from Man Utd has been revealed, along with a claim a January move is a distinct possibility, per a report.
West Ham chased the permanent signature of Lingard for much of the summer window. After a stellar loan stint brought the best out of the 28-year-old, many believed a permanent exit would soon follow.
But despite the Hammers’ sustained interest and Man Utd bolstering their own forward ranks with the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, a deal was ultimately not made.
Man Utd legend Gary Neville was one voice within the media who admitted his “disappointment” Lingard did not leave.
A number of theories had been speculated as to why an agreement was not struck. Firstly, the Hammers were rumoured to be unwilling to match Man Utd’s £30m price tag.
They would go on to fork out around £25m to sign Croatian Nikola Vlasic. However, that decision could be explained by the ex-Everton attacker being five years younger and therefore a more sound long-term investment.
Furthermore, a £30m outlay would’ve been difficult to justify on a player who is in the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.
Lingard was also believed to be strong in his desire to re-establish himself at Man Utd. And according to online outlet 90min, this factored into his decision to snub West Ham’s interest.
The outlet claim West Ham abandoned their pursuit in the final stages of the window after Lingard ‘made it clear’ he did not wish to return to the club.
Instead, he reportedly has visions of being offered a new deal at Man Utd should he impress in what are likely to be limited outings.
With Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial all ahead of him in the pecking order, Lingard is facing an uphill struggle to catch the eye.
With that in mind, the 90min article concludes that a U-Turn may be performed in the winter window. They state Lingard will ‘revisit his situation’ in January by which point it will be clear whether he factors into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s long-term plans at Man Utd.
Additionally, it has been speculated Man Utd could also relax their demands to avoid Lingard leaving as a free agent next summer.
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Ronaldo hails team-mate’s “incredible gesture”
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo will wear the number seven shirt for Manchester United after all, the Premier League club have confirmed.
Ronaldo recently sealed a dramatic return to Man Utd more than a decade after he left for Real Madrid. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner wanted a new challenge after three years with Juventus. At one point, it seemed the unthinkable was materialising, with Ronaldo close to Manchester City. But United could not let that happen.
But there have been doubts over whether Ronaldo would be able to wear his preferred shirt number. There is a digit that the man known as “CR7” is synonymous with.
However, Edinson Cavani began the season with the number seven on his back for Man Utd. Therefore, they had to ask the Premier League for special permission to change their numbers.
Such requests have rarely been accepted, but in this case, Man Utd have been able to give Ronaldo the number he desires.
And moving to quickly thank Cavani, Ronaldo said: “I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the No 7 shirt again. So I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi [Cavani] for this incredible gesture.”
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