Avid Moyes says he was ‘surprised’ Jesse Lingard chose potential relegation with Nottingham Forest over European football with West Ham after the club made a ‘fantastic offer’ to bring the midfielder back to the stadium. London.
Speaking ahead of the Hammers’ season opener against Manchester City, Moyes also admitted his side were ‘not ready’ for the start of the new campaign and insisted his current side are no longer ready. wasn’t good enough to break into the top six, with more signings needed before then. the end of the window.
Lingard was one of Moyes’ top targets this summer, with the West Ham boss keen to reunite after the midfielder went on a superb loan spell at the club in the second half of the 2020-21 season.
The 29-year-old was a free agent after leaving Manchester United at the end of his contract, but after delaying a decision on his future he eventually snubbed the Hammers in favor of a one-year contract with Forest, newly promoted. will pay the England international around £115,000 a week, excluding lucrative bonuses.
“I was surprised,” Moyes said. “I thought Jesse, in the end, would come here and I have to say the club made him a very good offer. You couldn’t turn around and say that David Sullivan and the owners didn’t do everything that they could have it. They certainly did.
“We would have liked to have him. But he chose [Forest] and he was entitled to it. It was a free transfer, he had the right to choose where he wanted to go.
Lingard’s failed pursuit has been one of many frustrating sagas for the Hammers this summer, with a deal for Lille midfielder Amadou Onana now looking dead in the water after the club refused to move. bow to the heavy wage demands of the 20-year-old player. .
When asked if he was surprised by the market, Moyes added, “If only you knew. It was amazing. We have made offers for many, many players. Genuine offers and genuine money and for different reasons we don’t have them.
“They didn’t want to come to the club or we didn’t make the right financial agreement or we weren’t able to pay the player and the agent, so one way or another, we struggled to be competitive this summer, so hopefully by the end of the window we will have gotten ourselves in order.
West Ham have endured a disjointed pre-season, with some players returning late from international duty at the end of last season, while new signings have been slow to arrive and injuries have also hampered preparations.
Premier League champions City therefore present a formidable first opponent and while Moyes is hoping to catch Pep Guardiola’s men cold, he admits the same concern could apply to his side.
“We’re all going to be watching the first games of the season tonight, tomorrow, and chances are a lot of teams aren’t ready,” Moyes said. “I must say that we are not ready yet. We always try to find a rhythm.
“I think you might find a bit of the same [with City]. The problem has been that players go on international missions and only come back without much time. You might just see one or two, I wouldn’t say weird results, but maybe not as smooth.
Although Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet has become the Hammers’ fifth signing this summer, Moyes believes the club have “lots more to do” before the transfer window closes and when asked if he has a team capable of finishing in the top six, having fallen just short last year, said: “Not today, I’m not doing it. I’m working to get one before the window ends.