Ralf Rangnick is unable to give any clarity on what the next 10 days will hold for Jesse Lingard in the transfer market, but says he would be glad if Manchester United could keep him.
Lingard left Man Utd on loan for West Ham last January and his future is in focus again at the same time this year. The attacking midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season, so faces some urgent decisions.
If he is not going to extend his contract with United, which looks unlikely, they may be better off selling him for a fee while they can. Time is running out for that to happen, though.
Newcastle have made a move for the England international, hoping he can rediscover the form he enjoyed with West Ham last season.
Man Utd must therefore make a decision quickly. But their interim manager Rangnick does not know what is going to happen.
He answered at a press conference: “Regarding Jesse, it’s the same as quite a few other players. He’s a really good player, it’s normal at other clubs, Newcastle showed interest in him but I am not the one dealing with that.
“If you ask me now what will happen in the next 10 days I cannot answer that question, I’m afraid.”
Newcastle want Jesse Lingard to force move away from Manchester United
Newcastle want Jesse Lingard to force a move away from Man United this January as massive contract on offer
Rangnick went on to praise Lingard’s technical abilities and hinted he could be useful for the club if he stays. But there are a number of factors behind that, which only Lingard can answer.
His current boss added: “As I said, it’s the question of what does the player want? What other options does he have? Does he have the chance to get game time?
“I cannot answer for him. It has to be done by the players.
“He’s a very good player, a technical player. Here at Manchester United it’s not so easy. We have other players who can play in that position and we cannot change from one game to another five or six positions.
“I know his contract is expiring in the summer. The question is what does he want to do? I wouldn’t be unhappy if he stayed until the rest of the season because he is a player who can always play and I know the level.”
Rangnick explains what Lingard teammate offers
Another player who has faced some doubts – although not as prominent – over his Man Utd future is Diogo Dalot.
The full-back spent last season on loan at AC Milan and looked unlikely to dislodge Aaron Wan-Bissaka upon his return.
But Dalot has enjoyed more space since Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Therefore, any transfer away now looks less likely.
Indeed, the German spoke in detail about what Dalot can offer, and how he has viewed his progress so far.
Rangnick said: “Offensively, he has a lot of assets. He did well for somebody who can deliver crosses from the wing, he can take on players one-on-one situations.
“There is still space for improvement in his defensive work. He’s not that much of a defensive full-back, but more of an offensive full-back – but this is normal.
“There are quite a few other full-backs in other clubs where it is the same. Quite a few of those full-backs formerly played at right or left-wingers.
“Therefore so far with developments I’ve had while I’m here with Diogo and [Alex] Telles, I’m happy. They get more game-time now because Luke [Shaw] is injured and Aaron is still ill.”