The Telegraph have revealed the reason that West Ham did not sign Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard this summer.
Why did West Ham not sign Lingard?
The Irons were linked with Lingard throughout the summer after his impressive loan spell at the club last summer.
However, they opted against signing him in the end as they were unwilling to match United’s £30m valuation of the player.
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Did they come close to signing him?
Not particularly it seems.
Despite David Moyes claiming earlier this summer that he hoped the club would be able to bring Lingard back to the London Stadium, West Ham did not actually make an official offer for the 29-cap international.
They did reportedly make an enquiry for the player but it seems that they were not happy with United’s asking price for Lingard, so opted against pursuing him in the final days of the transfer window.
Who did they sign instead?
The Hammers decided to sign Croatian international Nikola Vlasic instead, bringing in the 23-year-old on a five-year deal after paying a fee in the region of £25.7m.
The east London club also bolstered their ranks in central midfield by bringing in Spartak Moscow’s Alex Kral on a season-long loan deal as they completed a double swoop on Deadline Day.
Did they make the right decision?
Arguably they did.
West Ham have managed to sign Vlasic for a similar fee to the one that they would have had to pay for Lingard. Vlasic is five years younger than the United attacker, so he has more time on his side to develop his game.
Lingard did well at West Ham last season, registering 14 goal contributions in 16 league appearances for the club to help them to a sixth-place finish.
However, £30m is a hefty asking price for a 28-year-old who is into the final year of his contract at his current club, and it seems that West Ham recognised this and decided to walk away from a potential deal.
Instead, they have landed a younger option in Vlasic, plus they already have Pablo Fornals in their ranks who has started this season in red-hot form.
The Spaniard has scored two goals and provided an assist in his first three league appearances of the campaign. It seems that he has picked up where Lingard left off, highlighting how Moyes’ side already seem to be well-covered in this position even without the England international on their books.