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Premier League • England

Former Man Utd star offered Saudi lifeline as January deal takes shape following West Ham snub

Ben Stewart
Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho

Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho

Former Manchester United star Jesse Lingard is set to be offered a contract by Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq, but he will only be able to join them in January.

Since being released by Nottingham Forest in the summer, Lingard has been a free agent and has been on the lookout for a new club.

The 30-year-old had spent a portion of the summer on trial with West Ham, but this move didn’t materialise in the end and Lingard soon turned his attention to Saudi Arabia.

During the summer, plenty of stars from around Europe decided to jet off to the Saudi Pro League as highly lucrative contracts were being handed out.

Several high-profile managers also decided to move to Saudi Arabia this summer, including Steven Gerrard who is seemingly willing to give Lingard an opportunity at Al Ettifaq.

Gerrard also snapped up the likes of Jordan Henderson, Demarai Gray, Moussa Dembele and Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer to improve his squad.

Al-Ettifaq currently sit seventh in the table and are now gearing up to sign Lingard in order to give themselves a boost in the second half of the season.

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Stumbling block is revealed

While Al Ettifaq are keen to sign Lingard on a permanent basis, they won’t be able to sign him up until January according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Italian journalist recently confirmed that the Saudi side are set to offer Lingard a pre-contract for 2024 which will activate in January.

Despite Lingard being a free agent, Al Ettifaq aren’t able to sign him at this stage as they have to offload some players of their own in order to make room for the 30-year-old.

Gerrard already has 10 foreign players registered in his squad and Saudi Pro League rules state that teams can only have eight foreign players in their matchday squads.

With this being the case, Lingard will have to be patient while Gerrard goes about offloading some of their other foreign stars in the January window.

Lingard will surely be keen to rejuvenate his career after his spell with Nottingham Forest didn’t go to plan last season. The 30-year-old didn’t register any goal contributions in his 17 league matches for Forest.

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