Nottingham Forest are close to beating a number of clubs to the signature of former star Jesse Lingard.
The 29-year-old is a free agent after leaving Old Trafford at the end of his contract in June.
United are among the sides hoping to sign the attacking midfielder after a superb loan spell in east during the second half of the 2020-21 season.
The Hammers were thought to be leading the race to sign Lingard, who also has offers from abroad. Despite salary demands of £180,000-a-week complicating the move, there had been a growing feeling that he would choose a return to the London Stadium.
Forest however have now made ‘an extremely lucrative offer’, with reporting the club are now in advanced talks to bring him to the City Ground.
Steve Cooper’s side are ready to smash their wage structure to sign Lingard with West Ham’s hopes of bringing him back to the capital now in real danger.
Everton, Newcastle United, Leicester City and Tottenham are also thought to be monitoring the situation.
Lingard has also held talks with DC United following Wayne Rooney’s appointment as manager of the MLS side. But a move to the US would likely further hamper his chances of forcing his way back into the England team ahead of this winter’s World Cup.
While a number of clubs have shown interest, former Manchester City and England defender Danny Mills thinks Lingard has over-valued himself this summer and must readjust his demands.
‘If he was that important and teams thought he was that good, he would’ve been signed by now,’ Mills said on talkSPORT. ‘He’d be snapped up, whether it be £150k, £200k-a-week.
‘If they thought he was good enough they’d go for it because it’s a free transfer.
‘He’s clearly overpriced himself and people are going “no, not for us, I think we’ll wait and see” and “yeah, good luck mate if you think you can get it”.’
Forest have already made a number of additions to their promotion-winning side.
The club have signed centre forward Taiwo Awoniyi, centre-half Moussa Niakhate, right-backs Neco Williams and Giulian Biancone, left-back Omar Richards with Dean Henderson arriving in goal on loan from Manchester United.
, ., and .