Jesse Lingard: West Ham return for Manchester United winger was never close, says David Moyes

Jesse Lingard hoping to be part of Man Utd squad for Premier League clash at West Ham on Sunday; David Moyes believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can bring title back to Old Trafford after nine years; watch West Ham vs Man Utd on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 1pm - kick-off at 2pm

Jesse Lingard (PA)
Image: Jesse Lingard earned a recall to the England squad during his loan spell at West Ham

David Moyes has revealed a return to West Ham for Jesse Lingard was never close to materialising over the summer.

Lingard, 28, scored nine goals in 16 matches for the Hammers while on loan last season as he earned a recall to the England squad.

However, despite speculation linking the winger with a return to the London Stadium, West Ham manager Moyes insisted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer never had any intention of selling Lingard.

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"Ole made it quite clear to me early in the transfer window that he wanted to keep him," said Moyes, whose side host United in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

"So I knew pretty early that he would be staying at Manchester United.

"I was hearing all the stuff but I had a private conversation with Ole who made it clear he was staying."

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful of extending Jesse Lingard's contract at Old Trafford

Solskjaer said earlier this week he wants to keep the United academy product at Old Trafford long-term, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.

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The return of Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to limit Lingard's opportunities this season, with his four appearances for the club so far this season coming off the bench.

Asked whether he could revisit the situation, Moyes added: "I can't talk about players at other clubs because that's not the way we do it.

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West Ham Utd manager David Moyes assesses how his side will fare without the suspended Michail Antonio for the visit of Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday

"But because Jesse was part of our club for a while, I think all I can say is that he made a massive contribution to the team, both on the pitch and off the pitch. We really enjoyed having him.

"I hope in many ways Jesse will look at that time and how well the players treated him and made him welcome. So it may change.

"He was great for us. But simply the manager told me he was keeping him and when that happens, I believe the manager - and that's the way it went."

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West Ham manager David Moyes praises the club's supporters for the backing his side is receiving after initial scepticism over his return to the club in December 2019

Ole can bring title back to Old Trafford

Moyes insists Solskjaer has the tools at his disposal to win the Premier League title for United this season.

The return of Ronaldo and the arrivals of England winger Jadon Sancho and France defender Raphael Varane have raised expectation levels at Old Trafford, where the league trophy was last lifted in 2013.

David Moyes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Image: Both Moyes and Solskjaer are unbeaten in the Premier League this season

Moyes, who took over from Sir Alex Ferguson as United boss after that triumph but lasted only 10 months in the job, believes Solskjaer has been given the time and the players he was not afforded to end their nine-year drought.

He said: "I think Manchester United will always have to be competitive and try to win trophies, try to win the Premier League - that's what that club does.

"They've got a good balance of youth and experience in the squad. I think Ole's been given a really good chance to build a squad and a team and I think he's doing a good job.

"He's got a team that is more than capable this year of winning the Premier League.

"At the biggest club in the world you have to win the games and unfortunately I didn't win enough.

"Ole's doing a really good job. I think all managers at any club would ask for some time and if you get that chance it certainly helps you build your squad and get your thoughts over to your team."

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