Newcastle United are reportedly preparing a £3 million swoop for Manchester United playmaker Jesse Lingard this month.

According to Daily Star, West Ham United are set to face renewed competition from Newcastle United in the pursuit of Jesse Lingard. The Manchester United playmaker has emerged as a top target for the two Premier League clubs, with both keen on reinforcing their creative department.

West Ham were thought to be the main contenders in the race to sign Lingard. However, it appears Newcastle United are prepared to make a bid in excess of £3 million in an attempt to snap him up in the January transfer window. The player’s current contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the season, meaning the Magpies are essentially looking to coax Manchester United into an early sale.

Lingard has endured a dismal campaign so far, having featured in only 88 minutes of league football. However, clubs still rate him highly due to his successful loan spell with West Ham during the second half of last season. He was involved in 14 goals in just 16 league appearances, helping the Hammers secure Europa League football.

Having signed Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood so far, Newcastle are prepared to make Lingard their third big recruitment of the January transfer window. The Englishman will add real quality to the setup that has failed to create enough goalscoring opportunities for the centre-forwards. It is perhaps not a surprise why only three clubs have scored fewer goals than Newcastle this term.

Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard arrives for the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on December 28, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Ready for a move away from Old Trafford? (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

Eddie Howe is now hoping to change that with the potential addition of Lingard, who has also emerged as a target for Tottenham Hotspur. The Lilywhites have reportedly contacted the Manchester playmaker over a move to North London in the summer, though the player is likely to choose between West Ham and Newcastle United.

From Manchester United’s perspective, a sale to Newcastle United does make sense given West Ham are apparently direct rivals in the race to finish in the top four places. However, it appears unlikely that Ralf Rangnick would want to sanction Lingard’s sale in the first place amid fears over the team’s lack of depth.

Paul Pogba has struggled with injuries this season, while Juan Mata has fallen out of favour. Donny van de Beek is unlikely to have any future at Old Trafford and has been reportedly offered to Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund. Hence, keeping hold of Lingard could be critical as Manchester United look to not only finish inside the top four but also do well in the UEFA Champions League.

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