Arsenal join five-horse race to sign West Ham loan star this summer

In the career turn-around nobody saw coming, Jesse Lingard continues to go from strength to strength at West Ham United.

Arsenal could hijack West Ham's summer move for Man Utd's Jesse Lingard (Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images)

After a blistering second half of the 2020/21, in which he swapped Man Utd's bench for a starting spot with the Hammers, the England international has reinvigorated his career since moving to east London on loan in January, scoring eight goals in nine matches.

Having forced his way back into the Three Lions squad just in time for the Euros, and propelled the Hammers into an unprecedented push for Champions League football, Lingard is going to be in high demand this summer.

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What's the story?

The Daily Star report that Arsenal could look to hijack West Ham's attempts to sign the 28-year-old on a permanent deal this summer, as they look to improve on a dismal 2020/21 Premier League campaign that could see them finish in the bottom half of the table.

The Gunners looked to bring in J-Lingz in January, but the Red Devils were believed to be unwilling to strengthen a potential rivals for a top-four finish.

It is noted that the Hammers have no agreement in place to sign the attacking midfielder, who is thought to now be worth around £30m, permanently in the summer, which could open the door for their London rivals to swoop in and snatch the former Derby County loanee.

Do the bookies fancy it?

As things stand, no bookies are taking bets on Arsenal signing the Lingard this summer.

He's currently 1/2 odds-on to join West Ham when the transfer window opens, and 7/5 to remain with Man Utd - basically, it's a close call, but at the moment they think he's heading to the London Stadium on a permanent deal.

How likely are Arsenal to sign Lingard?

They're in a financially stronger position to match his £100k-per-week current contract terms than West Ham are – even if they qualify for the Champions League, West Ham would need to cut some costs to have a second player, after Andriy Yarmolenko, break the £100k weekly wage barrier.

Everton, Spurs and Aston Villa have also all been linked, so it could be a real scrum to land the player. With the Gunners looking unlikely to be playing European football next season, they could prove to be a relatively unattractive option in the short-term.

There is, of course, also the possibility that United may wish to hold onto their player, and extend his contract beyond its current 2022 end date.

Overall, then, Arsenal have a lot of work to do if they're to stand a chance of signing Lingard, with qualifying for the Champions League via winning the Europa League, and providing a bumper pay packet likely to be their only hope of sealing the deal.

What are the fans saying?

@tashamash tweeted: “Well, that's one way to stop him scoring against them.”

@_BraBhiza tweeted: “We don't want him, just agents trying to start a bidding war.”

@FiddyXL tweeted: “Why would he downgrade to a dance floor?”

@Permafisheries tweeted: “I will quit being an Arsenal supporter if they sign Lingard.”