Jesse Lingard is reportedly ‘very close’ to completing a shock move to South Korean side FC Seoul. The 31-year-old hasn’t played competitive football in over six months after leaving Nottingham Forest at the end of last season when his contract expired.
Lingard received offers from Saudi Arabia and Turkey but opted to move to the K League. It is understood that South Korea was the destination he was ‘most intrigued’ by.
According to Sky Sports, Lingard has verbally agreed a two-year deal with an option to extend his stay for a further year. The report goes on to add that he is due to fly out and complete the deal ‘in the coming days’.
Lingard went on trial at West Ham and Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq last year but wasn’t offered a contract by either side. As per transfer expert Ben Jacobs, the former Manchester United forward wasn’t picked up by the latter as Al-Ettifaq didn’t have enough room to accommodate another foreign star.
Saudi Pro League clubs are only allowed to have a maximum of eight overseas players on their books which they were already exceeding at the time. His wages were also said to be a stumbling block for a January transfer swoop.
Prior to this, Lingard spent six weeks on trial with the Hammers. Lingard played some of the best football of his career while out on loan at West Ham in 2021 so David Moyes was keen to give the 32-cap England international a chance to shine.
“Jesse has been training with us for three weeks and he has improved greatly since he first came in – he is in really good condition, much better than when he came in,” Moyes told talkSPORT midway through the trial period.
“When Jesse joined us a couple of years ago he had that great run of form and probably he made the difference for us getting into Europe for the first time. So I want to give him a real opportunity to get back into condition and see how he does. He is back and getting much closer to the level of fitness we hoped he would be at.” Ultimately, Lingard failed to capitalise on the opportunity.