Wayne Rooney plots Jesse Lingard reunion, as MLS option takes shape for West Ham target

Jesse Lingard and Wayne Rooney representing England

Jesse Lingard could end up reuniting with Wayne Rooney at DC United despite having interest in the Premier League, according to reports.

Lingard is a free agent after his contract with Manchester United expired at the end of last month. It brought an end to an association with the club lasting more than 20 years. It is fair to say, though, that his last at Old Trafford was a strange one.

After reviving his fortunes during a spectacular six-month loan spell with West Ham between January and June 2021, Lingard returned to his parent club. However, chances remained limited back in Manchester.

Now free from the club, Lingard is having to gear himself up for another career revival. With a place in England’s World Cup squad for later this year at serious risk, but not entirely impossible to attain, it will be important for the attacking midfielder to find regular gametime somewhere.

With that in mind, Lingard is keeping his options open. It was recently revealed that he could be in line for a move to Major League Soccer at the age of 29.

Alternatively, he could remain in the Premier League, where West Ham would take him back. The likes of Newcastle, Everton and Tottenham have also been linked.

But a move to the MLS could end up materialising. Indeed, Marca have now revealed that DC United are one of the clubs who could take him to the USA.

Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney recently returned to the MLS side as their manager, after previously playing for them. He could look back to English football for some familiar targets.

Marca claim Lingard – with whom he shared a pitch 46 times in his playing career – is on Rooney’s radar.

Jesse Lingard decision could have parallels with another famous free agent

With the World Cup on the horizon, Lingard will be choosing carefully to give himself the best chance of getting into Gareth Southgate’s plans.

But leaving the Premier League could be one way to do it, despite the MLS being a less competitive league.

If he chooses to join DC United, Lingard could be following a similar path to Wales international Gareth Bale. The former Tottenham ace left Real Madrid on a free transfer at the end of the season, but didn’t feel the move to the MLS was too much of a step down.

Indeed, both players could still keep their fitness up and get regular gametime by playing in the USA, where they would enjoy a good lifestyle too.

Bale has taken the leap and perhaps Lingard could also end up overseas. Rooney’s presence there will certainly make it a destination to consider.

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