West Ham assistant manager Stuart Pearce has told talkSPORT the Hammers are still battling to sign Jesse Lingard on loan this month.
The Manchester United striker, 29, was loaned out to the London Stadium in the second half of last season and West Ham are keen to complete a similar deal this term.
Lingard has six months left on his contract at Old Trafford and looks set to leave on a free transfer this summer, having failed to regain his place in United’s starting XI.
However, talkSPORT understands the Red Devils are reluctant to do business with a top-four rival, with relegation fighters Newcastle being the first to sign Lingard.
Nonetheless, while Pearce remains hopeful of landing the England international this winter, the Hammers manager insists he just wants to see Lingard play football.
He told talkSPORT: “There is no doubt that Jesse is a commodity, not playing for his football club, that could be a huge advantage for many Premier League clubs.
“Ours is certainly one of them, there’s no doubt about it. Everyone knows we tried to bring Jesse back last summer.
“It will continue, probably, in this window as well. But that’s up to Jesse. He has six months left on his contract. He will decide and Manchester United, more importantly, will decide his future for the next six months.
“I always feel like it’s a real shame that a player of this talent doesn’t play regularly.
“Especially after his contribution when he joined us for six months and found himself in the fold of England. It helped Gareth [Southgate] also.
“I will be delighted if he is going to play, wherever he goes and plays. If he shows up at West Ham in the next three or four days, it will be a utopia.
“If he is going to play elsewhere in the Premier League, I will always be delighted to see him play.”
Pearce accepts that West Ham’s position in the table could hamper any deal with United, but the Hammers assistant suggests they will be powerless to prevent Lingard from joining them this summer.
Asked if United would keep Lingard from West Ham due to the top-four race, Pearce said: “There is that potential. Hopefully they see us as one of their competitors, potentially.
“Next summer he’s a free agent and he can go anywhere he wants. It looks like, from the outside, that’s what he’s looking to do: fulfill his contract and go on a Bosman next summer to the destination of his choice.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of suitors.”
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