A trusted source has categorically stated it is a ‘certainty’ Jesse Lingard won’t be a Man Utd player next season, and hinted Newcastle could be his next destination.
The 29-year-old winger returned to Old Trafford last summer full of hope and expectation. Lingard had produced the form of his life while on loan at West Ham and harboured genuine ambitions of finally making his mark with United.
However, it’s been the same old story for Lingard, with minutes on the pitch in desperately short supply under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
That led to talk of a January exit, with West Ham and Newcastle in particular registering their interest.
Lingard’s current deal expires in the summer, meaning a winter window departure would’ve seen his time in Manchester end six months early.
However, United did not want to strengthen a rival for fourth spot by adding to West Ham’s attacking options once again. Elsewhere, the issue of a whopping £12m survival bonus for avoiding relegation reportedly played a major part in Newcastle’s efforts falling short.
Lingard certain to leave; Newcastle claim backed up
Lingard has featured four times since the January window closed. However, three of those outings were cameos of under 10 minutes from the bench. As such, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claimed it is now a “certainty” Lingard will leave for good in the summer.
Writing for SportsKeeda, Romano stated Lingard has decided to leave when his contract expires. Per the Italian, Lingard’s mind has been made up and his decision will not change unless something “dramatic” happens over the coming months.
The forward is pining for a “new experience” and was reportedly keen to take Newcastle up on their offer last month. Newcastle minority owner Amanda Staveley echoed that sentiment on Saturday.
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As such, it is not inconceivable he may wind up in the north east before next season begins.
The cash-rich Magpies will be able to go above and beyond the financial package any other suitor will lodge.
Furthermore, Lingard’s chances of securing regular minutes would be greater at a club like Newcastle who are only one raft of new signings into the Saudi era.
And with it already established he would be on board with joining the project, there are very few barriers to a deal left on paper.
Ronaldo testing Rangnick’s patience
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo could be pushed before he jumps after a report revealed Ralf Rangnick’s patience with the Man Utd striker is ‘wearing thin’.
A report from the Manchester Evening News has cast further doubt as to whether Ronaldo’s contract will be seen out in full. His deal expires in 2023, though the club hold an option for a further 12 months.
The outlet claim interim boss Rangnick has ‘major reservations’ Ronaldo is the right man to spearhead United’s frontline next season. Ronaldo has now notched just one goal in his last 10 matches after his latest blank versus Watford at the weekend.
While Rangnick may not be the club’s manager beyond the summer, he will be working behind the scenes in a consultancy role.
One might expect Ronaldo to have been benched amid his worrying slump. Indeed, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel recently dropped the off-form Romelu Lukaku for successive high profile matches in the Champions League and EFL Cup final.
However, Rangnick has thus far avoided that route due to a lack of belief in the alternative options.
Rangnick’s influence over United matters will extend beyond just his managerial spell this season. As such, and unless Ronaldo rediscovers his form, the 37-year-old could quickly become the elephant in the room.