West Ham United ‘may be reluctant’ to meet attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard’s wage demands, talkSPORT reporter says Alex Crook.
The Manchester United ace is set to leave his boyhood club on a free transfer after the end of the current campaign and is unlikely to be short of potential suitors.
What’s the latest on Lingard?
Lingard has endured a hugely frustrating campaign at Old Trafford, playing just 548 minutes of first-team action throughout 2021/22, starting just four games in all competitions.
Despite his inaction, the Red Devils hierarchy refused to sanction his departure in January following offers from West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.
However, Lingard will become a free agent in early July, giving him the freedom to choose his next destination.
And according to The Mirror, the Hammers and Magpies have retained an interest in the England international while Serie A trio AS Roma, AC Milan and Juventus have also entered the fray.
The report claims Lingard could be in line to pick up around £150,000-a-week on his next contract as the 29-year-old goes in search of one last big payday.
What did Downie say about Lingard?
Lingard enjoyed a successful loan spell at West Ham last season, and Downie says the capital club’s interest in him “never really waned”, but has doubts about his willingness to meet his salary demands.
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He told GiveMeSport: “Their the interest never went away, but I think he’s already shrugged off a move to Newcastle with his wage demands.
“And I think West Ham might be reluctant to give him the £150,000 a week he apparently wants.”
Is Lingard worth £150,000 a week?
In just 16 Premier League appearances for the London Stadium side last season, Lingard registered nine goals and five assists, propelling West Ham to sixth place.
Returning permanently to east London as a free agent would also allow the versatile striker to demand more wages as the Irons hierarchy would not have to shell out a transfer fee.
Nonetheless, handing Lingard a £150,000-a-week deal would make him West Ham’s biggest earner, which could shake up the dressing room.
Key players such as Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice may feel aggrieved by the decision, potentially disrupting the harmonious atmosphere that David Moyes has worked so hard to create.
Therefore, West Ham need to think carefully before incurring such a big outlay on a player who has just three goals to his name this season.