West Ham will have to pay at least £25million to sign Jesse Lingard permanently from Manchester United, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Irons would be “desperate” to strike a deal for the 28-year-old this summer.
Lingard has made an immediate impact in east London, with four goals and two assists in his first six games since joining in January.
However, did not make a single league appearance at Old Trafford during the first half of the campaign.
Lingard is heading towards the final 12 months of his contract with the Red Devils, meaning a summer move may be on the cards.
David Moyes revealed on Friday that signing the midfielder permanently is a priority going into the summer.
Whelan has suggested it will cost the Irons £25million to do a deal but insisted it was still a “snip” for a player of his quality.
“Look, he’s really transformed that front four,” Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“When I looked at it the other night (v Leeds), what an attacking, creative front four that was. He’s really changed the dynamic because he’s not a Benrahma. Benrahma likes to circle outside the 18-yard box and pick passes.
“Meanwhile Lingard’s a very direct runner who like to hurt teams at the heart of their defence. Linking up play with wide men but not just standing still, he wants to get in the box.
“That really causes trouble for defenders. He’s someone with that pace and attitude who wants to run in behind the backline.
“He’s got four goals and two assists already. With the short time he’s been at West Ham, they’ll be desperate to keep him.
“With someone with that sort of quality, at 28 you’re still in the prime of your career. You’re still talking around the £25million mark, minimum.
“For a player like that, with that sort of appetite and effect he has on the game? The way he’s playing, £25million. Even that in this day and age is a snip, that’s not a lot of money.”
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