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Jesse Lingard is close to an exit from Manchester United, as reported by The Times. The 28-year-old does not want to enter discussions with the Premier League giants.
Minutes have been very hard to come by this season. Lingard has started just one game; the League Cup third-round meeting with West Ham. Even then, he lasted just 72 minutes. Add those minutes to the 63 and 19 in the Premier League and Champions League respectively, and it’s been a very unhappy season so far for the attacker.
The lack of game time can undoubtedly be put down to United’s business in the summer transfer window. Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho were brought in. And the attacking pair are seemingly both above Lingard in the pecking order.
The forward is definitely eyeing a place in the England squad for Qatar 2022. But Gareth Southgate omitted him from the latest squad due to a lack of playing time. A new club is almost certainly needed if Lingard wants a seat on the plane.
Here are four clubs who could look to sign Lingard:
The Magpies are undoubtedly looking for new recruits. Their ambition comes after the recent mega-money takeover that has dominated headlines in recent months. And an attacking talent that Lingard is exactly what they need to inject some life into a depleted team.
Moreover, his contract is up in the summer. It could, therefore, be the perfect signing for Newcastle if they weren’t intending on immediately breaking the bank. He could arrive for cheap in January, or for free upon the expiry of his contract.
It may sound surprising at first, but Barcelona is another potential destination. Xavi’s men are in desperate need of a creative spark. The Mail Online claims that the Spanish side are keeping tabs on the 28-year-old.
His representatives have reportedly flown to the country to discuss a potential move. Barcelona have plenty of youth, but need a handful of experienced players to help provide the right balance.
The Mail Online also says that AC Milan are paying close attention to the situation. The Italian giants have undergone a huge makeover, and are enjoying life once more. They sit second in the Serie A table.
They want to maintain that momentum, and could offer an enticing way out of England for the forward, much like Roma have done with Tammy Abraham. The striker has fought his way into Southgate’s plans after impressing in Italy.
Perhaps the most obvious destination for Lingard. That is because he shone on a previous loan spell in east London. The attacker was a huge hit at the London Stadium in the second half of last season.
Lingard netted nine goals in 16 league matches for the Hammers. He also managed five assists to help the club to a sixth-placed finish. David Moyes’ side have been even more impressive this season. But they still wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to sign a player who they know could flourish at the club, particularly for such a low price.