Manchester United star Jesse Lingard is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal and a free transfer is on the cards
Jesse Lingard has a whole list of clubs to join if he decides to leave Manchester United at the end of the season.
The England international is at the end of his contract this summer and it does not seem likely that he will extend his stay.
West Ham were desperate to sign the midfielder this summer but the Red Devils valued him at Â£ 30million.
The Hammers refused to hit that total – especially given his contractual status and he stayed at Old Trafford.
It’s to the detriment of his own career, however, with the 28-year-old a second-string player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He has only made three Premier League appearances – totaling 45 minutes, all coming from the bench.
But when called upon, the playmaker almost always performed – scoring twice despite his lack of opportunities.
United drafted a new contract but according to the Daily Mail Lingard rejected it over concerns over his playing time.
And it seems to have sparked a feeding frenzy with some prestigious clubs interested in English.
Among them are Barcelona and AC Milan, who are browsing the basket of bargains before the summer transfer window.
At Camp Nou, they have already used the Bosman decision to their advantage by signing Eric Garcia, Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay, all free.
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And Lingard could be next, while AC Milan have already benefited from English talent after signing Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea – which was a huge success.
Lingard is desperate to strengthen his chances of being part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
Several Premier League clubs are also interested in the Wythenshawe-born star, with West Ham desperate to sign him again after his brilliant loan spell.
In 16 league games, the playmaker has scored nine and assisted four to help the Hammers carve out a place in Europe.
But they also face competition from Newcastle, which saw its wealth grow exponentially after the takeover of the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
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Leicester were also looking to sign Lingard this summer but couldn’t convince United to part ways with the player.
However, Barcelona and AC Milan have the advantage of being able to talk to him from January 1 about a pre-contractual agreement.
Such a situation can only be done by foreign clubs – but it remains to be seen whether Lingard is ready to leave the Premier League.