Reports have indicated Manchester United are set to sanction the January sale of one of their stars with two European giants emerging as suitors.
United will be entering a new era when Ed Woodward steps down as chief executive later this year. But they are preparing their transfer activity well in advance to ensure a smooth transition. One of the first matters the new man in charge will have to deal with is expiring contracts.
According to eyefootball, the Red Devils are prepared to let Lingard go when the transfer window reopens at the start of 2022.
The England international is still not happy with his situation at Old Trafford and won’t sign a new deal. United will therefore cash in before he leaves on a free next summer.
A separate report by the Metro claims the 28-year-old has become a target for AC Milan and Barcelona.
Barca are attracted by the prospect of a free transfer. Their dire financial position means they are virtually limited to those deals at present.
And unlike sides in England, the Catalan giants and the Italian side will be able to negotiate a move for free with Lingard from January.
This new interest is perhaps why United are now keen to sell the attacking midfielder instead of allowing that to happen.
For Lingard, all he is seeking is regular first team football like he received when on loan at West Ham last season.
The Hammers will also likely be in the mix. If he doesn’t sign a new United deal in the coming weeks, expect an all-out war in the winter window.
Lingard opens up on struggles
In a candid interview with The Players Tribune, Lingard has spoken about being frozen out at Old Trafford last season.
“From that point, I couldn’t get back to where I had been. I was struggling mentally as well as physically,” he said.
“My family kept coming to games, but they couldn’t even watch me. They were like, ‘This ain’t you. This ain’t your aura.’ Games were passing me by like I wasn’t there. Like a ghost.
“I love football. Love it to death. But there were times when I thought, ‘I just can’t do this anymore’.”