Manchester United have been advised by Andy Cole to take "more money than was expected" for Jesse Lingard, with the on-loan midfielder's asking price continuing to rise at West Ham.
The 28-year-old playmaker was surplus to requirements at Old Trafford and stuck in a serious rut when allowed to head for east London during the winter transfer window.
A spark has been rediscovered in the capital, with an England recall earned along the way, and any permanent move this summer is now expected to generate a sizeable fee.
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What has been said?
With United in the process of mulling over whether to retain Lingard or sell him, former Red Devils striker Cole told talkSPORT: “The opportunity for him to go on loan to West Ham came at a fantastic time. He’s taken it with both hands.
“Now Manchester United have a decision to make. Take him back or sell him in the summer for a little bit more money than was expected?
“I think if I was Manchester United, I would move him on. And if I was Jesse I would want to go and play games. Definitely.”
Lingard's record at West Ham
Having figured in just three domestic cup outings for the Red Devils in 2020-21, Lingard jumped at the chance to link up with the Hammers.
An immediate impact was made with David Moyes' men, with a brace bagged on his debut against Aston Villa, and eight goals have now been recorded through just nine appearances.
The bigger picture
Lingard's return to form saw him figure in all three of England's 2022 World Cup qualifiers during the March international break, with Gareth Southgate now facing some big decisions.
He has a number of creative number 10s at his disposal heading towards this summer's European Championship, with Cole of the opinion that Lingard should get the nod in any battle with the likes of Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Mason Mount.
The ex-Three Lions frontman added: “Ultimately when you come to this stage of the season you have got to take the players in form.
“I don’t really care about, ‘oh, yeah, he, six months ago, was fantastic’, I’m talking about now because the tournament is going to be when the season finishes in, what, May? Three weeks later. You have got to take the players in form and if Jesse continues this then why not?”