Everton are on the verge of beating West Ham United in the race to sign Manchester United playmaker Jesse Lingard in January.

According to an exclusive report from Football Insider, West Ham United are poised to miss out on their pursuit of Jesse Lingard. The Hammers are among three clubs, including Everton and Newcastle United, who are in contention to sign the Manchester United playmaker in the upcoming January transfer window.

However, as the report suggests, Everton are in pole position due to geographical reasons, as the player is keen on remaining in the North-West. It gives the Toffees a huge boost and they are the favourites to snap up Lingard in January, should Manchester United agree to offload him.

The Englishman has already rejected a new deal at Old Trafford, with his current contract at the club expiring at the end of the season. This precarious situation may lead Manchester United to contemplate offloading the star, knowing they can at least receive some compensation.

Avoiding so will result in Lingard leaving the club for free next summer. But more importantly, it will further frustrate the player, who is already disappointed with the lack of game-time this season, owing to the presence of Bruno Fernandes and the resurgent Paul Pogba.

What next for Jesse Lingard? (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

What next for Jesse Lingard? (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

Everton are prepared to take advantage of this situation by snapping him up in January. The Englishman is being identified as an ideal reinforcement in the creative department as well as a direct replacement for Gylfi Sigurdsson. They have been linked with a move for other alternatives including Aaron Ramsey, but Lingard will be a much safer option due to his recent success in the Premier League.

The same can be said for West Ham, who expertly nurtured the attacker during the second half of last season. Unfortunately for them, the 28-year-old opted to return to Manchester United in the summer – a questionable decision at the time that has not yet proved any dividends for the player so far.

As for Manchester United, they are unlikely to be fazed by the January exit of Lingard, even though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his issues with the team’s apparent lack of depth. The Englishman, after all, is not the only creative midfielder struggling with game-time at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are indeed bracing themselves for life without Donny van de Beek as well, with the Dutchman increasingly keen on joining Real Madrid.

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