NEWCASTLE have a clear run at signing Jesse Lingard after Manchester United REFUSED to do business with West Ham.
The two sides had been locked in a transfer deadline day battle for Lingard.
But SunSport understands United are not entertaining offers from top four rivals – swiftly ruling West Ham out of the running.
That means Newcastle are leading a sole charge for Lingard, who is out of contract this summer.
Interim Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has given Lingard his blessings to leave the club this month – if he can find a suitable club that can pay the loan demands before the deadline.
Newcastle are still in talks to clinch a deal after West Ham made a stunning late move.
The Hammers made an enquiry about the midfielder this month before being rebuffed.
And SunSport understands West Ham approached Lingard’s representatives for a second time in a bid to get a loan deal over the line.
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But they were again knocked back due to sitting just one point behind United in the Premier League table.
Newcastle remain extremely interested but United have asked for a £2.5million loan fee.
However, The Daily Mail have reported that United lowered the ‘survival bonus’ demand from £12m to £9m over the weekend and could lower it again even further today.
But there is no chance for West Ham to get Lingard, who had a successful spell in east London after joining on loan last January.
Rangnick appeared open to allowing the attacking midfielder to leave when quizzed about his future earlier this month.
He said: “Regarding Jesse, it’s the same as quite a few other players, he’s a really good player, it’s normal at other clubs, Newcastle showed interest in him but I am not the one dealing with that.
“If you ask me now what will happen in the next 10 days I cannot answer that question, I’m afraid.
“As I said, it’s the question of what does the player want, what other options does he have, does he have the chance to get game time, I cannot answer for him, it has to be done by the players.
“He’s a very good player, a technical player. Here at Manchester United it’s not so easy, we have other players who can play in that position and we cannot change from one game to another five or six positions.”
However, Man Utd have already allowed Anthony Martial to leave for Sevilla and Donny van de Beek to depart for Everton this month – both on loan deals.
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And the club confirmed on Sunday that forward Mason Greenwood “will not return to training or play matches until further notice” following his arrest.
United are looking to try and secure a top four spot this season after an inconsistent start to the campaign.
They currently sit fourth in the Premier League, one point clear of David Moyes’ West Ham.