Jesse Lingard could move abroad when he leaves Manchester United, with two surprise clubs leading the race to sign him, claims a report.
Lingard has struggled for form over the last couple of years for United, having scored a brace in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge in December 2018 only to go without a Premier League goal since.
The midfielder recently rose eyebrows by hiring Mino Raiola as his new agent, though, and the appointment could already be working to good affect for Lingard, as he has now been linked with two of Europe’s biggest clubs.
According to ESPN, Atletico Madrid and Roma are leading the race for Lingard if he decides to leave United – and while he would prefer to stay at Old Trafford, he is open to the idea of a move abroad.
It is claimed that Lingard is considering his options after being the target of abuse from fans, with a move to Europe giving him the chance for a fresh start.
Only 18 months remain on his contract, despite the presence of a clause that would allow United to extend that deal by a further year – with Solskjaer said to be keen to keep hold of the England international.
Discussions remain ongoing about a new deal, but are only at an informal stage thus far – and with Lingard only making six league starts to date this season, he may be on the lookout for a new adventure.
After scoring a rare goal in the FA Cup against Tranmere Rovers, Lingard admitted he wanted to put his poor run of form behind him.
“I’ve not been in the best form,” he told BT Sport. “It’s always good to score a goal and help the team.
“A lot of people contributed. It was a well-rounded performance by the team. We knew it would be tough but we’ve come through.
“An early goal always helps to settle crowd down.”
Lingard may look at the revitalised form of former teammate Chris Smalling since moving to Roma as an inspiration to make the move, although they are not the only Italian side to be linked with him.
Atletico Madrid have an England international of their own, after Kieran Trippier joined them from Tottenham Hotspur last summer – a move the full-back insisted was a step up from his previous situation.