Jesse Lingard has explained that he felt more “love” from Nottingham Forest than West Ham in the summer, and that’s why he decided to move to the City Ground.
The Hammers were once again interested in signing Lingard, having taken him on loan from Manchester United in the 2020/21 campaign.
David Moyes was hopeful of convincing Lingard to move back to the London Stadium on a free transfer but he instead opted to move to Nottingham.
Forest are currently in the relegation zone, having taken 13 points from 15 games, but Lingard has been central to Steve Cooper’s side.
And he has now explained that he felt Forest simply wanted to sign him more than any other club, in what appears to be an indirect dig at the Hammers.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Athletic, Lingard said: “I wanted to play regular football. It is hard sitting on the bench. It was my time to move on. I knew it would benefit me, if I moved to Nottingham.
“I had lots of conversations with the owners; with the Marinakis family. They showed a lot of love towards me. You have to go into a team where you feel wanted. I felt that more from them than from anyone else.”
The Hammers, of course, ended up signing Lucas Paqueta from Lyon instead, and he has shown flashes of brilliance thus far.