Darren Fletcher says he has had doubts about Jesse Lingard’s Manchester United future since the midfielder switched to a new agent.
Lingard replaced his old representative with super-agent Mino Raiola in January. Italian Raiola, who works with some of the world’s biggest stars, has a reputation for engineering exciting moves for his clients.
Indeed, Paul Pogba enlisted the agent’s help when moving to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016.
Meanwhile, reports have claimed Lingard is keen to find a new challenge away from United. He has allegedly reached a dead end in attempts to impress Red Devils coaches, with Tottenham supposedly keen on a move.
Asked by Sky Sports about the player’s future, former United midfielder Fletcher believes Lingard’s change of agent is a clear sign he wants a move away.
“It’s unknown. The alarm bells started ringing for me when he appointed Mino Raiola as his agent,” Fletcher said (via the Daily Mirror).
“Now you don’t appoint Mino Raiola as your agent if you’re looking at staying at a club.
“That suggests to me that he’s looking for a move. He’s not a starter in Manchester United’s strongest team, he’s a squad player now. Yes, he’s come through the club and he’s been there a long time.
“Maybe, he feels like he is ready for a new challenge and maybe he feels he is at an age now where he needs to be a starter, he can’t be a squad player.
“It will be interesting to see what happens between now and the end of the window.”
Man Utd keen to sell up
United could look to sell several other players, as well as Lingard, before the October transfer deadline.
Defenders Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling are targets for moves to Estudiantes and Roma, respectively.
Goalkeeper Sergio Romero could also leave, with Dean Henderson’s arrival pushing him down the pecking order.