Jesse Lingard 'makes decision' on his long-term future

Robbie Copeland
Lingard has displayed some of his best form since joining West Ham
Lingard has displayed some of his best form since joining West Ham / Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jesse Lingard has decided that his long-term future lies with West Ham, according to a report, with the Irons confident of signing him permanently from Manchester United.

Lingard barely featured for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team in the first half of the season, but he has looked remarkably sharp since joining the Irons on a six-month loan. The 28-year-old has exceeded expectations with his impressive form, scoring four goals in his first six appearances, and reminding us all just what he's capable of when he's at his best.

As things stand, he is out of contract at Man Utd in the summer, but the Old Trafford club hold the option to extend his deal to 2022. If his form keeps up, that is something they are likely to do, if only to make a quick buck on an immediate sale.

As 90min reported in February, they are considering using Lingard as a pawn in a potential deal for Declan Rice - though it remains to be seen if West Ham will agree to sell their vice captain, given they stand a serious chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Whatever happens, though, it seems they are very keen to keep Lingard at the club long-term. Admittedly, the source on this one isn't great - an unnamed 'ex-West Ham employee' speaking to the West Ham Way podcast - but the claims made seem reasonable.

It's nothing sensational and nothing we couldn't have guessed. Basically, West Ham are confident of keeping Lingard, and the player, in some of the best form of his career, has already indicated that he wants to stay beyond the summer.

But it does reinforce the idea that their fruitful association is likely to be extended by one means or another when the summer transfer window opens.

When the deal was negotiated in January, West Ham wanted to include a £15m option to buy, which could be triggered in the event that Man Utd extend his deal until 2022. That was rejected, though, and it was said earlier this month that Solskjaer's team value him at £20m - though that is subject to change if his formidable form keeps up.

Let's face it, though. Everyone involved here wants the deal to happen, and it seems like a case of when, rather than if, a permanent transfer will be agreed.