Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that he wants Jesse Lingard to sign a new Manchester United contract, but that the midfielder’s playing time is an issue.
The 28-year-old has entered the final year of his United deal with no sign of an extension coming. As such, a cut-price move away in January or a free transfer next summer look more realistic options.
While West Ham hold a long-term interest in Lingard, Newcastle have now emerged as potential suitors.
But for now, the England international is focusing on impacting his club and country. He has done so well, scoring a last-minute Premier League winner against the Hammers.
Lingard also assisted Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-minute Champions League winner against Villarreal.
Speaking about the midfielder, Solskjaer said in a press conference: “”Jesse’s had a good start to the season. Of course, he’s come on and scored a few goals for us that’s been very important for us.
“He knows what we want. We want to prolong his contract, we see him as an important player for us.
“It’s obviously up to him to get more playing time. Maybe up to me to give him more playing time because he deserves to. But every time I pick a team I have to leave some players out.
“Hopefully, we can get a deal sorted for Jesse because we really rate him and value him in and around the club. He’s a top player and a top person.”
Ronaldo is one player who is all-but guaranteed a place in Man Utd’s starting team when fit and firing.
However, Solskjaer has been willingness to bench him in recent weeks and insisted that he is going to exert his influence as manager over the 36-year-old – and his squad as a whole.
Solskjaer wants more Ronaldo magic
“He’s an exceptional player, exceptional finisher, goalscorer, exceptional pro,” Solskjaer said.
“It’s hard to leave him out and I think everyone would love to, how do you say, if you can go and play six games in six days and play the same XI every time.
“It’s great but rotation… we need to get to April and May with everyone firing.
“We got to May in the final stretch of last season and we were too tired. I manage the players for the club. it’s nice to have him on the pitch, he’ll always come up with the goods.
“The more we have him on the pitch, the better.”
United face a Leicester team who have endured a slow start to the season and Solskjaer gave an injury update on his players.