West Ham fear Manchester United will not sanction a January deal for Jesse Lingard as they now see them as a top-four rival, according to Telegraph.
The Hammers are keen on the 28-year-old England international after he helped them to a sixth-placed finish last term, but they may have to wait until the summer despite the fact that talks between the player and the Red Devils over a new deal have collapsed.
West Ham are third in the table after 11 Premier League games this term, with three places and six points between them and Man Utd.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have struggled so far and could be worried about potentially aiding West Ham’s chances of finishing above them in the table by loaning them Lingard.
With the attacker not keen on signing an extension, letting him sign for West Ham on loan until the end of the season when he can join them on a free transfer is probably the last thing Man Utd want to do.
Lingard has not been given many chances to impress so far this term given the options available to Solskjaer, and nothing is guaranteed heading into the second half of the campaign.
While they could be open to letting him leave rather than holding on to him against his wishes, sanctioning a West Ham deal would be seen as a harmful move to their own Champions League ambitions.
David Moyes’ side have been firing on all cylinders this term, and landing someone like Lingard is only going to make them better after he bagged nine goals and four assists in 16 Premier League games for them last term.
They need someone capable of covering for Michail Antonio, but they may have to look elsewhere for such a versatile player in January.
Lingard will not be short of options as a free agent in the summer, but he could be keen to join the Hammers if they are playing in the Champions League next season.
In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.
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