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West Ham open talks with Lingard over a permanent return

West Ham United have opened talks to sign former Manchester United attacker Jesse Lingard on a free transfer.

The Athletic understands negotiations are only in their early stages, and no offer has yet been made.

Lingard, 29, enjoyed an excellent loan spell at West Ham during the latter half of 2020-21, but he could not capitalise on his good form after returning to Manchester last season, only scoring two goals across 22 appearances, predominantly featuring as a substitute.Lingard had been at United since joining at Under-9 level in 2001, working his way through the club’s youth system before making his debut in 2014 under Louis van Gaal.

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He made 232 appearances for Manchester United over the intervening eight years, scoring 35 goals — including three in cup finals — but never established himself in the club’s first-choice XI, and found opportunities limited under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim replacement Ralf Rangnick.

United announced Lingard would leave the club on the expiry of his contract earlier this month, with the England international becoming a free agent on July 1.

West Ham have already signed centre-back Nayef Aguerd from Rennes in a €35 million deal.

The Athletic also reported on Sunday morning that the club had agreed a permanent £8 million transfer with Paris Saint-Germain for goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

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