James Garner wants to be part of United's first team squad next season

James Garner is currently shining on loan with Nottingham Forest and impressed again versus Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday.

That match, a huge cup tie on free-to-air television, gave many Manchester United fans a chance to check how he is getting on and the signs are good.

With the weeks ticking away until the transfer window, many supporters may be wondering what the next step for Garner is.

Will he be part of United’s squad next season, or does another loan spell beckon, perhaps this time in the Premier League?

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A report by the Athletic claims that being part of United’s senior squad next season is very much Garner’s aim as it stands.

They also say that Forest will try and buy the midfielder in the summer if they are promoted back to the top flight for the first time since 1999.

Obviously, the big unknown at United is who the new manager will be. That will surely have a huge bearing on Garner’s immediate future.

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag both have a reputation for promoting youth and you suspect they might be keen to run the rule over a talented 21-year-old in an area of the pitch where United are clearly in need of improvement.

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That said, there is a big jump between doing well in the Championship and shining at a club with the expectations of United.

It would be a risk for any new manager to put faith in Garner when he would have big money available to replace the likes of Paul Pogba ahead of next season.

At Tottenham, Oliver Skipp has come in on the back of an impressive loan at Norwich last season and become a key part of the midfield, which underlines it is possible to make the jump.

And the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Ollie Watkins have shone after buying bought by Premier League clubs from the second tier.

The scrutiny at United is on another level, but Garner could save United millions in the summer if he gets a show of faith from the new boss and takes his chance.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.