West Ham United are reportedly set to beat Everton in the race to sign Jesse Lingard, who is a free agent after the expiration of his Manchester United contract.

According to the Daily Mail, West Ham United are closer than ever to completing a deal to re-sign Jesse Lingard. The England international’s contract with Manchester United expired at the turn of the month, and he is now free to join any other club in a Bosman move, with Everton also showing interest in him.

The 29-year-old was getting linked with an exit from Old Trafford over the last two windows, with his game-time taking a drastic hit at the club. Lingard was sent on a six-month loan to West Ham United for the second half of the 2020/21 season, where he scored nine times and assisted five goals in the Premier League.

The upturn in form at the London Stadium convinced West Ham to attempt a summer move for him, but the Red Devils were eager to hold on to the midfielder. However with as team’s form declined, Lingard’s game time did not improve and clubs again came calling in January.

Newcastle United were said to be heavily interested in him, but Manchester United blocked the move, leaving the Englishman with no option but to run down his contract and leave the club as a free agent. The Manchester United youth product made 231 appearances for the club’s first team, scoring 35 times and assisting 21 goals.

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)

With Lingard now a free agent, a couple of Premier League clubs are exploring the possibility of signing him. The England international reportedly wants £150,000 per week in wages, with Everton and West Ham both trying to secure his signature.

While the Hammers were not expected to break their wage structure to accommodate Lingard, they have now emerged as favourites for his signature. The player has reportedly opted to join West Ham in a Bosman, as he has fond memories playing for the London-based outfit.

Lingard could prove to be a shrewd signing for David Moyes’s side as they prepare for a gruelling season, which will see them play in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see who Everton turn to after facing defeat from West Ham in the race to sign Lingard in a Bosman move.

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