By Danny Mills

19th Jun, 2021 | 8:04pm

Mills: There's no way West Ham should hand Lingard a better deal than Rice

Danny Mills has suggested Jesse Lingard’s wage demands could price him out of a permanent move to West Ham.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Manchester City and England defender claimed Lingard becoming the Hammers’ best-paid player could put “noses out of joint”.

Football Insider revealed yesterday (18th June) West Ham will likely have to give the 28-year-old a pay rise to land him on a permanent deal.

Lingard is keen to return to the London Stadium and the Hammers also want him back after his incredible loan spell last season.

Asked whether West Ham will want to hand Lingard such lucrative terms, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “No is the answer.

“I think they’ll look at it and say ‘You’ve had a fabulous six months and you’ve been re-energised but you were trying to prove yourself.’

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“Before that, I know there were certain issues around it, but he hadn’t had a good spell for a couple of seasons.

“You always have in the back of your mind ‘What if it happens again? What if we throw all our money at it and then that happens?’

“I’m sure there’s a deal to be done with bonuses and incentives and that sort of thing.

“Of course he’s going to ask to be one of the best-paid players because his stock is high at the moment. But can you expect to be paid more than Declan Rice for example? No, you can’t.

“There are other players who would have their noses put out of joint if he earns more than anyone else.

“There’s no reason why he doesn’t deserve what he’s on. But I’m not sure who else is going to give him a rise or a big rise.

“Yes, you have to do what’s best for yourself but just be careful not to price yourself out of the market.”

In other news, the door has opened for West Ham to sign a centre-forward who’s told friends he’s moving.