West Ham assistant manager Stuart Pearce has confirmed that the club remain keen to get a deal for Manchester United's Jesse Lingard over the line.
Lingard was an instant hit at West Ham after joining on loan for the second half of the season, racking up nine goals and five assists in 16 appearances and nearly earning himself a spot in the England squad for Euro 2020 as a result.
Understandably, United were left impressed by that form and have opened the door to keeping Lingard around for the rest of the season, although that has not stopped West Ham from trying to bring him back.
“We would like him to come and join us," Pearce told talkSPORT of Lingard's future. "That has been an open secret. He was wonderful last year.
“The ball is in Manchester United’s court. He is contracted to them. We would like him with us, there is no doubt about that. He’s a special lad and was very good around the players – the players really like him.
“His ability shone out last year and gave us a great option in our squad. You never know, but at this moment in time it looks like he is fighting for a place in the United line-up.”
West Ham's issue with signing Lingard has always been financial. 90min understands United have been looking for in excess of £30m to sell the 28-year-old, who also wants to see his good form rewarded with a pay rise.
The Hammers are reluctant to pay up as they are prioritising moves for a new defender and striker, but they would jump at the chance to bring Lingard back if the finances on any such deal worked for them.
Lingard knows that his chances of minutes at United are slim because of the form of Bruno Fernandes, who bagged a hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Leeds, and the presence of Dutchman Donny van de Beek in the squad.
He missed the Leeds game after testing positive for COVID-19 but is expected back in training ahead of Sunday's meeting with Southampton.