West Ham manager David Moyes has confirmed his interest in bringing Jesse Lingard back to the London Stadium, should he be available.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a superb loan spell in the capital last season, joining the Hammers from Manchester United in January before going on to score nine goals in 16 Premier League appearances.
His consistency helped West Ham qualify for the group stages of the Europa League, but hopes of a permanent return to the club have faded amid talk that Lingard may end up staying at Old Trafford to fight for his place.
90min revealed in July that Lingard was also on Atletico Madrid’s radar, but no bids have been placed and he remains a United player. Now, speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League game against Leicester, Moyes admitted he has interest in doing a deal – but said the questions over a whether a move might happen are not for him to answer.
“Of course we really enjoyed having Jesse [Lingard] but Jesse is a Manchester United player and the questions are not for me but are for Manchester United,” Moyes revealed. “We enjoyed having him and if the opportunity arose for us to get Jesse then we would have an interest but in my mind, he is at Manchester United and it is not for us to discuss.
“We have been trying hard and we are trying to add to a good group of players and get ourselves some more options. We know we have a challenging season ahead of us, an exciting one and I hope we are able to do something.”
In the absence of Lingard, Said Benrahma started the 4-2 win over Newcastle on the opening day of the season – and he seized his opportunity to shine, scoring once and assisting another in a man of the match display.
“It is really good [Benrahma’s form] because we brought him to get assists and goals as well so it is great he has started the season in such good form and he was in good form in pre-season,” Moyes said of the Algerian.
“He is going to look to improve again and if he keeps at this level then he is going to be happy.”