Jesse Lingard has seemingly ruled out a move away from Manchester United this summer despite admitting he is still to agree a new contract with the club.
Jose Mourinho has given Lingard just two Premier League starts since the turn of the year and there are suitors on the horizon who could offer more game time.
The England winger has been linked heavily with Arsenal in recent months, as a potential replacement for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Chelsea too have also been mentioned as possible suitors.
But Lingard, when questioned about the links to United’s Premier League rivals, insists his association with the club runs long and deep and he is not likely to depart on a whim.
“It’s still ongoing talks at the moment. I enjoy playing for Man United and my heart is at Man United,” he said.
“You have to battle for your place and it makes you more hungry to train on the training pitch: you know when you get your chance, you have to take it. It’s always good to have that hunger to try to break into that team.”
Lingard may have earned a reputation as one the game’s jokers but the England winger is more than happy to bare his teeth in support of his football “family”.
Lingard, 24, likes to look on the lighter side of life, celebrating goals in a variety of novel ways, including the ‘dab’ dance move and playing an imaginary flute in honour of a track by rapper Drake.
He also filmed from inside the Manchester United team bus when it was attacked by West Ham fans last season, with his comical version of events amusing some while discomfiting others.
Lingard insists the footage was only ever meant to be seen by friends, joking that one of them “snaked me out”, but makes no apologies for his outlook.
“I think fun plays a massive part in anyone’s life. I’m the type of guy that’s always having a joke, messing around, but when it comes to the serious stuff, you know, your head’s on the game,” he said, ahead of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.
“You train hard all week and obviously in your downtime you can relax with your friends and have fun. Nowadays the papers do pick up on it quick, and you can be quick to be judged, but you can’t really judge anyone unless you speak to them face to face or you meet them in real life.”
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