The MEN Sport understand Jesse Lingard is set to stay at Manchester United beyond January despite interest from the likes of West Ham and Newcastle.
With his contract expiring next summer, the mid-season transfer window represents United’s last opportunity to command a fee for the 29-year-old midfielder who spent the second half of last season on loan at the Hammers.
Lingard is said to have decided he wants to stay and fight for his place under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
The England international found himself in a similar situation during the tenure of previous boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and despite the Norwegian tactician’s claims that Lingard would be offered more regular game time, 88 minutes of Premier League action so far this season tells a very different tale.
It would be best for all parties involved if Lingard was to move on.
Of course, a suitable offer would have to be tabled for United to part ways with him, but Lingard can’t allow his deep-rooted love for the club to impact his decision.
United have been guilty of allowing their players to dictate their futures far more than should in years gone by – see Paul Pogba as an example – and this is their chance to prove they’ve learnt from their previous mistakes.
In my opinion, it’s been clear that Pogba has wanted to leave Old Trafford for quite some time, and if another club had made a serious move for the Frenchman he would likely have already moved on.
But if United had decided that they wanted to sell Pogba to bring in a key player who could have a bigger influence on the team, they could easily have agreed a deal with one of Europe’s top sides and would not find themselves staring down the barrel of losing the talented midfielder for free for the second time in his career.
United are now in a situation where they have to either panic and offer Pogba a bumper new deal or, as is looking the most likely scenario right now, lose him for free.
Lingard may not be as big a star as Pogba but his sale could still generate a handsome fee and Rangnick needs to address these issues that continue to plague the club.
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Manchester City have always been considered quite a poor selling club, shifting their wantaway players on for a fee far lower than their actual market value.
Leroy Sane and the expected sale of Ferran Torres are both prime examples of this, yet in doing so they ensure that the only players remaining at the club are players who actually want to be there and their success is there for all to see.
United need to be more decisive with their transfer dealings. If a respectable offer comes in for Lingard, they need to make it clear to the player that there’s little room for sentiment in football and he needs to move on.
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