Jesse Lingard is ready to ask Manchester United to let him leave in January unless they exercise their option on him before the end of the year, TEAMtalk can reveal.
The England international has sunk down the pecking order at United in recent times. He is yet to start a Premier League game this season. Indeed, Lingard has just two League Cup outings to his name so far this term.
Despite his inactivity, the 27-year-old is garnering a great deal of interest from Premier League rivals. With his contract set to expire in the summer, United do retain a 12-month option on the midfielder. However, unless that is extended, Lingard will be free to leave as a free agent in the summer.
Nonetheless, we understand more than half-a-dozen top-flight clubs are keen on Lingard. He was mentioned as a potential target for Aston Villa last month, while Everton and West Brom have also been linked in the past. Tottenham, managed by former United boss Jose Mourinho, have also been touted as suitors.
We can reveal Lingard also has interest from abroad with teams from Germany, Spain and Italy keen. Our sources have also told us both Old Firm giants Celtic and Rangers are looking into the possibility of taking Lingard north of the border.
However, it remains to be seen whether United will use their option to tie him to his beloved Red Devils to 2022.
It’s been made clear to us that Lingard himself has no issue with staying and fighting for his place. However, he has made it clear to United chiefs that he wants to know within the next month what they intend to do.
For their part, United are weighing whether to let Lingard leave this January, or sign him to another 12-month deal. Any option to extend his deal could even be done to protect his valuation in the transfer market. Therefore, the club could look to extend his deal but still look to offload him in the upcoming windows.
Lingard opens up on United struggles
Lingard’s struggles this season follow a troubled 2019/20 campaign that saw him make just nine Premier League starts.
Discussing his troubles earlier this year, Lingard insisted he wants to fight for his United future.
“I never wanted to give up,” Lingard posted on Instagram. “I knew who I really was on and off the pitch.
“Having been there before I knew I could get there again. It meant working harder than I’d ever done before.”
In his latest social media post, Lingard acknowledged the fans “frustrations” but said his “love for this club and everyone connected to it has never left me”.
“This team, this club is my family and I will continue to keep working harder than ever to help this team achieve its goals,” he added.
Lingard revealed he had been told he was on his “last chance” by Solskjaer. That followed an incident on social media last summer.
“I wasn’t performing and he [Solskjaer] was on me all the time. He wanted more from me,” he said.