Aston Villa ready to pounce as Man Utd forward relays tricky demand to satisfy

Date published: Friday 8th October 2021 1:15 - Steve Pearson

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (left) and Jesse Lingard working as pundits for BT Sport during the legends match against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford, Manchester

Aston Villa have been tipped to be a contender to sign Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard whose latest comments suggest an exit could occur, per a report.

After a whirlwind summer transfer window that saw the arrivals of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, attention has quickly turned to who could depart Old Trafford. Both Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are attracting attention after entering the final years of their contracts.

Manchester United have indicated their desire to see both stars tied down to long-term deals. But in Lingard’s case, his decision on whether to re-sign could come down to the basic principle of how many minutes he receives.

Lingard is currently on international duty and recently revealed his England ambitions could sway his decision.

After a stellar loan spell at West Ham last year, Lingard was in the reckoning for the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 squad. Ultimately, he was overlooked, and the prospect of missing out at the next World Cup is clearly on his mind.

Lingard said (via the Birmingham Mail): “Obviously, the World Cup is a long way away. But obviously from last year, you need regular football.

“I was so close to going to the Euros so, and I think obviously it plays a huge part and it’s a big factor. You know if you’re playing over 20, 25 games, of course you know you’re knocking on the door so I think it does play a big part in that.”

Asked if he believes he will get that opportunity at United, Lingard replied: “I think I’m not doing any harm at the moment.

“If I keep performing well and doing well you never know what might happen so I keep confident in myself and when I get time on the pitch I’ve got to carry on doing what I’m doing.”

“You want to start games. When I’m a sub I’m always ready to play. I’m always ready to be needed when I’m called up.

“It’s one of those things I’m going through at the moment but I think on recent performances hopefully we’ll see a change in the next few weeks.”

But if more minutes aren’t forthcoming, the Red Devils may have to admit defeat over the resurgent winger.

West Ham have regularly been linked with re-acquiring the 28-year-old, though the Birmingham Mail make a case for Villa to upset the applecart.

They state Villa were linked with Lingard in January prior to his Hammers switch. As such, they believe Dean Smith’s side will be in the frame for either a cut-price winter transfer or a free agent acquisition next summer.


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Fernandes scheming to bring Raphinha to Man Utd?

Meanwhile, Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes remains in contact with Leeds star Raphinha ahead of the January transfer window, according to The Sun.

The brilliant winger was linked with a switch to Old Trafford earlier in the year, but the Red Devils chose to complete deals for Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo instead. However, a report on Friday suggests that Solskjaer will greenlight another bid for the 24-year-old in the new year.

Fernandes previously played alongside Raphinha at Sporting Lisbon, with the duo striking up an impressive connection on and off the field. And the United star, quoted by The Sun, has been full of praise for his old team-mate.

“I miss Raphinha,” he said. “He is a player with whom I had a different chemistry from the others, he understood me at a glance.”

And Raphinha has now responded, revealing he’s still in contact with the United star. To that end, a January enquiry for the Leeds attacker could still be a possibility.

READ MORE: John Murtough takes action over Man Utd ‘hysteria’ with Solskjaer sack message; new appointment made

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