Noel Whelan has tipped the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal to join West Ham in the hunt to sign Jesse Lingard from Manchester United.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker suggested the 28-year-old’s performances will have caught the eye of the Premier League’s elite – including table-toppers Manchester City.
Lingard has already scored four goals and contributed two assists in just six appearances on loan at West Ham.
His remarkable resurgence has come after just three domestic cup appearances during the first half of the season for Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer named the 24-cap England international in just four Premier League matchday squads but he failed to feature off the bench.
David Moyes revealed on Friday that signing the midfielder permanently is a priority but it depends on what the player wants.
Whelan has suggested the Red Devils may now have their rivals sniffing around for a summer move.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I’m not being funny but Manchester United might be looking and going: ‘Actually, do you know what? Maybe we could still do with a little bit of that as well.’
“He’s showing the right attitude, could he still do it for Manchester United?
“He’s not played all season and that’s the strange thing about it. It looks like he’s been playing all year for somebody. He’s got that attitude, that pace and fitness.
“These are the things that will play into Jesse Lingard’s hands. He’ll have the final say in what happens at the end of the season.
“It might not be West Ham. It might be Chelsea, it might be Arsenal, it might be Manchester City as well. You never, ever know. All you can do is your job to your maximum ability.
“He’s really shining as well. Gareth Southgate, I’m sure, will be circling as well because maybe he can do a job in the Euros too. He’s played himself into contention.”