Transfer Talk: Magpies swoop in on Lingard race
Jesse Lingard will be playing for a new club next season after his Manchester United contract expired on Friday.
The attacker, 29, only managed 355 minutes of Premier League football last term despite a successful loan spell at West Ham in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign.
We take a look at how the free agent could fit in at his potential suitors with the Hammers, Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton all reportedly in pursuit.
West Ham are believed to have already made an offer for Lingard as David Moyes looks to boost his attacking options.
The Englishman bagged an impressive nine goals and four assists in just 16 appearances during his loan spell in 2021, quickly becoming a favourite at the London Stadium.
Moyes has reportedly been monitoring his situation since the back end of last season and knows what Lingard can provide, with the huge bonus of him now being a free agent.
The Irons are light on reliable attacking midfield options as Nikola Vlasic’s move last summer failed to work out, while Said Benrahma has been inconsistent since he joined the club in a £30million deal.
With the position a key area for improvement, the club will be keen to get Lingard through the door in a cut-price swoop that will delight fans.
West Ham’s London rivals Spurs are reportedly monitoring Lingard’s situation but have not yet made a move.
Antonio Conte has pushed club chiefs to complete the majority of signings before pre-season commences next week and has been backed with a transfer budget of £150m.
The Lilywhites have made a quick start to their transfer window, already sealing moves for four players, with deals for Clement Lenglet and Djed Spence in their advanced stages.
Lingard would therefore potentially be Spurs’ seventh incoming of the window in a move which makes sense as they do not have a senior attacking midfield option at their disposal.
The North Londoners are yet to find a suitable replacement for Christian Eriksen and although they were previously favourites to re-sign the Danish star, they have the task of fulfilling their homegrown quota.
Spurs are currently on the Premier League limit for non-homegrown players but are over the threshold for squads competing in the Champions League — and signing Lingard would help fix this issue.
Conte is keen to challenge for titles next season and Lingard would certainly provide the strength in depth needed to do so as they embark on a demanding campaign.
Newcastle are looking to hijack Spurs and West Ham’s moves for Lingard.
The Magpies have reportedly held talks with Lingard’s representatives as Eddie Howe continues to strengthen his squad.
Howe’s outfit now have the spending power to compete with any side in the world, although they currently lack European football.
The Toon had a brilliant second half of the season and racked up the fourth-most points in 2022 with January signing Bruno Guimaraes hitting the ground running.
It is not clear whether European football will be a decisive factor for Lingard but Newcastle’s wage packet could blow rival offers out of the water.
Lingard’s eye for goal and Premier League experience can help them achieve their ambitions of continental qualification, while he will be guaranteed a lot more playing time under Howe in comparison to a move to Spurs.
Everton are also in the race for Lingard’s signature as they look to avoid a repeat of their last campaign.
The Toffees escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth having been in the drop zone for the majority of the latter stages of the season.
And Frank Lampard's job does not get any easier this summer with the ex-Chelsea and Derby boss needing to strengthen various areas of his squad to avoid falling behind.
Everton are not in the best financial position either and recently sold their star man Richarlison to Spurs for £60m including add-ons, which may help their cash flow but halts their progress on the pitch.
Dele Alli is yet to feature regularly for the Merseysiders and is currently their option best suited to a central attacking midfield role at Goodison Park, making a move for the versatile Lingard a no-brainer.
If Everton are able to land Lingard, which seems unlikely with what their competition can offer, he will arguably make a greater difference as they desperately need proven Premier League players who can make an instant impact.