West Ham could blow their chances of signing Jesse Lingard permanently if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
That’s according to former Leeds United hitman Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Lingard’s future.
Football Insider revealed last month that Aston Villa have joined the race to sign the England international who is held in high regard by the club’s coaches.
West Ham’s form has declined in the last few weeks with their Champions League fate now out of their hands.
Lingard, 28, has been a revelation since he joined the club on loan in January and the club would like to make his stay permanent. [Daily Mail]
When asked if failing to qualify for the Champions League could scupper West Ham’s chances of signing Lingard permanently, Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, “Yes, I would say so.
“He’s a player that a lot of teams will be looking at and take if they were in the Champions League.
“I think a lot rides on that. He’s stepped up at West Ham. There’s no doubt that he’ll be in the Euros squad.
“Top players like him deserve to be on the top stage. There’s no doubt he can perform there.
“At his age, he’ll want to finish playing with a team who are playing in the Champions League.
“He’s put himself in a fantastic position to get offers and to choose the next step in his career.”
Lingard, 28, has scored nine goals in 13 Premier League outings for the Hammers.
He was unable to help his side gain momentum in their top four race after losing to Everton Sunday.