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Everton join West Ham United in race to sign Manchester United outcast Jesse Lingard

Derby County v Manchester United - Pre-Season Friendly
Jesse Lingard’s future remains unresolved (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Everton hope to beat West Ham United to the signing of Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard after Rafael Benitez urged his board to sign the England international.

Lingard, 29, spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham and the Hammers are keen on signing him on a permanent basis after he bagged nine goals in 16 appearances for the London club.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested Lingard will remain at Old Trafford next term to fight for his spot at the club but the Norwegian could simply be trying to obtain a bigger fee for the playmaker, who has 12 months to run on his deal at the Theatre of Dreams.

West Ham have baulked at United’s £25m valuation of the midfielder, particularly as money is tight at the London Stadium.

Derby County v Manchester United - Pre-Season Friendly
Lingard is back at Manchester United (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

That’s opened the door for Everton, with Benitez keen on strengthening in wide areas at Goodison Park, according to the Sun.

The Toffees signed Andros Towsend and Demarai Gray earlier this week but Lingard can play in a host of different positions, including behind a main striker.

United expect to complete the transfer of Jadon Sancho this week, which will further increase the competition for places for Lingard at the club.

But Solskjaer claimed Lingard was ‘still in my plans’ after the side’s friendly against Derby last week.

‘Jesse has come back, he’s been bright and he wants to fight for his place,’ said Solskjaer.

‘There’s nothing better than seeing players willing to fight for their place. Of course, what he did towards the end of the season, that is the true Jesse.

‘That’s what we know he is capable of. I think we saw towards the end [of our own season] that we lacked maybe some options at times.

‘He’s still in my plans. I expect him at Man Utd at the start of the season.’

MORE : Arsenal ready to offer up two fringe players in deal to sign James Maddison

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