Newcastle United have made Jesse Lingard their number one target ahead of the January transfer window and are prepared to make him the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
The Magpies are set to enter the market for the first time since their takeover by a Saudi-backed consortium in October and the club is expected to spend big in the new year to steer clear of relegation.
Newcastle currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League and are yet to win a match this season, despite Eddie Howe replacing Steve Bruce in the dugout.
A whole host of players have been linked with a move to St James’ Park since the takeover, although certain names have come up more often than others, including Lingard’s and James Tarkowski.
The Times now write that the club has already held talks with Lingard’s representatives, with a four-and-a-half-year deal worth well over £100,000 per week on the table.
Although the 28-year-old’s Man Utd contract is due to run out in the summer, Newcastle are still prepared to offer a significant transfer fee to secure his services in January, with the report adding that West Ham – the club where Lingard enjoyed a successful loan in the second half of last season – have renewed their interest.
Speaking in a press conference, Hammers boss David Moyes said on Friday: “Jesse knows what we all think of him here. My disappointment for Jesse would be, I think he’s such a talented football player and he’s not playing.
“He played a big part in our second half of last season. But you’d have to give credit to the players here, they’ve moved on without Jesse.
“People might have thought Jesse made a difference here. But the players have moved on and stepped to another level themselves. But I’ve got to say, Jesse was a big part of that.”
Talks over a new deal for Lingard at Old Trafford ended in November, with the player becoming increasingly frustrated with a lack of game time. The attacker is yet to start in the Premier League or Champions League, making just ten appearances off the bench in those competitions.
Whether that will change under interim manager Ralf Rangnick following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking remains to be seen.
The player himself said in October that he wanted to be playing 30-plus games per season at this stage of his career, and 90min revealed in September that Lingard would give himself until January to earn a place in the starting lineup before deciding whether or not to leave.