Jesse Lingard is set to stay at Manchester United to fight for his place and could even sign a new contract despite interest from West Ham, according to reports.
The England midfielder, 28, enjoyed a scintillating second half of the 2020-21 season on loan at the Hammers.
Lingard went from United outcast to a key member of the Three Lions set-up in the build-up to Euro 2020 and was unfortunate to miss out on a place at the tournament.
But, buoyed by his strong showing the last term, Lingard is leaning towards staying at Old Trafford rather than returning to London, according to The Athletic.
The attacking midfielder scored nine goals and registered four assists in just 16 games for West Ham – but is currently enjoying pre-season training at United.
Hammers boss David Moyes is keen to bring him back to the London Stadium on a permanent deal.
However, Man Utd are believed to be holding out for a whopping £30million transfer fee, thanks to his red-hot form last season.
West Ham are unwilling to pay that figure for a player who is now in the final year of his contract, seemingly surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and already in his prime years.
And with the Londoners currently stalling on a deal, Lingard is now considering the option of staying at United and fighting for a spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI.
The report claims the England ace is even more keen to stay if United are willing to offer him a new contract
Many in the United hierarchy are keen on handing Lingard fresh terms in a bid to protect his transfer value.
But it also says others would prefer to sell the player in order to allow him to obtain regular first-team football.
With Jadon Sancho arriving at Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund this summer, Lingard’s opportunities may well be even more limited than the last season.
However, Daniel James has been linked with a move away – most likely on loan – which could free up some minutes in the squad rotation.
Man Utd take on Wayne Rooney’s Derby in their first pre-season game on Sunday, with kick-off 1pm.