Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is unsure what the future holds for Jesse Lingard at Old Trafford.
The midfielder, who was once a vital player for United, has only started nine Premier League games this term.
Indeed, Bruno Fernandes‘ arrival has pushed him further down the pecking order and he has not made the last six top-flight matchday squads.
And despite Solskjaer confirming he would be involved against Norwich on Saturday, he refused to address the 27-year-old’s long-term future.
“He has come back after the lockdown with a smile on his face and loads of energy,” Solskjaer said in Friday’s press conference.
“Last week he fell ill for a couple of days but we have done all the tests and he’s fine. He will be involved against Norwich now.
“Hopefully he can kick on. He has scored vital goals for us, and has been a vital player for us.
“Let’s see what the future will hold. At the moment he is looking really sharp and focused.”
Lingard scored the winner in the 2016 FA Cup final, while also featuring heavily for England at the 2018 World Cup.
Since then, he has struggled to hold down a starting role at United and is out of Gareth Southgate’s thinking.
Indeed, his United contract ends next summer.
‘LINGARD MUST REACH FERNANDES’ LEVEL’
Elsewhere, pundit Paul Parker says Lingard must reach Fernandes’ level before thinking about getting back into the side.
Fernandes has had a stunning impact since his January arrival, showing exciting glimpses of a partnership with Paul Pogba.
“For now Mason Greenwood, [Marcus] Rashford and [Bruno] Fernandes are doing their jobs,” Parker told Eurosport.
“They’ve done what United needed Lingard to do, but he has to get close to Fernandes’ level before he can demand another chance.
“Now he’s signed up with Mino Raiola he’s probably looking to get abroad. He’s unlikely to find a top European club who wants him, but everyone is looking for cheap players right now.
“He could go to Italy to re-establish himself, perhaps at Inter Milan. But he has to ask, is he moving to spark his career or simply to embellish his CV?”