We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium…

Frank McAvennie believes Jesse Lingard would rather join West Ham than Aston Villa due to the lifestyle of living in London over Birmingham.

Lingard, 28, has been in stunning form since joining the Hammers on loan from Manchester United in January, scoring nine goals and supplying four assists in 11 Premier League appearances.

His form has started to attract attention from elsewhere with Football Insider reporting that Aston Villa are ready to rival West Ham in the race to sign the England international permanently in the summer.

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However, McAvennie cannot see Lingard wanting to join Villa when he’s enjoying life at the London Stadium.

The ex-Hammers striker also claims that a move to London is bound to be far more attractive for the Manchester United loanee.

Speaking to West Ham Zone, McAvennie said: “Listen, Aston Villa are a good club – don’t get me wrong.

“They’ve got [Ollie] Watkins, they’ve got [John] McGinn, they’ve got [Jack] Grealish. They’ve got good players but I look at Lingard and think, ‘you’re enjoying yourself, why would you not want to stay there?’.

“No disrespect to Birmingham but London is a bigger pull than Birmingham.

“In Birmingham, you can walk around and people will know you but London is so cosmopolitan, you can do stuff with your missus and that.

“I just think it’s a wonderful place.

“It would be a major signing if we get him.”

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Lingard’s future is bound to be a massive talking point at the end of the season because it didn’t seem as though there was any hope for him at Old Trafford before he joined the Hammers in January.

He’s bound to be in the England squad for the European Championships so it would be great to get something sorted out before then.

In other West Ham news, the Irons have made contact over a deal to sign this Southampton player.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Hammers and more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.

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