Jesse Lingard has reportedly told Manchester United he needs proof he will receive more game before January 1 – or the player will open negotiations with clubs interested in his signature.
The England attacker is in the final year of his deal and has been offered fresh terms to extend his stay with United. However, the 28-year-old has rebuffed United’s initial approach and is strongly considering a free transfer move next summer.
As it stands, there still remains hope for United to keep Lingard. However, as reports claim, Lingard is keen to ensure he will get the opportunity to play regularly before making a decision about his future.
But with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood all blocking his path, Lingard faces quite the task to get minutes at United.
As a result, ESPN sources that if nothing is agreed then Lingard will leave for free next summer. He will also be free to start talks with clubs from outside of England from January.
Lingard wants regular football to keep his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
But if there’s no signs of that improving, Lingard will reportedly tell United he plans to leave as a free agent.
That could yet lead to his sale in January should both parties decide to part ways.
And Lingard will have no shortage of offers. As per The Times, United turned down six approaches for the player over the summer.
West Ham are the most obvious suitors, with the player having impressed during a loan stint. David Moyes’ side made a big push to sign the player, but ultimately walked away with United demanding £25m.
And they would be the side pushing hardest to make a move for him if that chance re-emerges.
However, they are not the only suitors, with at least two other Premier League sides and clubs from abroad also showing interest.
Everton and AC Milan are among those thought to be keen.
Given he can negotiate with overseas clubs from January 1, Lingard could yet make a move to the Continent next summer.
Lingard feeling good
Lingard looks likely to drop to the bench on Wednesday when England face Poland in their latest World Cup qualifier.
Having scored twice at the weekend against Andorra, Lingard claims he’s feeling good about his form.
“It feels amazing. It’s always amazing to put on an England shirt but to score and do well for your country is perfect.
“I thought the lads played well today, it was a professional performance and we go again against Poland.
“It’s always a great feeling scoring for your country. They’re the moments you don’t forget and, of course, my team-mates helped me today with that.
“We had to come into this game with professionalism. And we knew what Andorra were about. We knew they were going to sit back – sometimes press and sometimes sit back in a low block.
“We were patient throughout the game and we managed to move the ball very quickly and find opportunities to break through the defence and score the goals that we did.”