Manchester United bit-part player Jesse Lingard wants to stay to the end of the season, reports The Athletic.
Lingard is said to want to stay and fight for his place at Old Trafford, rather than make a January transfer.
Newcastle and West Ham have both been linked, with Lingard enjoying a productive loan spell at the latter in the second half of last season.
Lingard has not started a single Premier League game this season, starting one League Cup game in September, anda Champions League dead rubber in early December.
He should be desperate to leave in search of regular playing time, and yet, is reportedly very relaxed over his future.
The report states: “It is believed Lingard has decided he will not be making a switch during the upcoming window, choosing instead to stay and battle for a way into interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s plans.”
United should still look to cash in
United no doubt regret not cashing in on Lingard in the summer, when the club could potentially have landed around £20 million for him, even more.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer convinced Lingard to stay, then chose not to play him. Lingard subsequently lost his place in the England squad and should have some resentment towards his own decision to stay put.
Instead it appears Lingard is content to spend more time on the bench in the second half of the season, despite the negative implications for his England career.
United should look to force the issue in January. Lingard has not played a single minute in the two Premier League games which Rangnick has been in charge for.
Hannibal Mejbri’s emergence and Shola Shoretire’s promise should give United extra reason to want to cash in on 29-year-old.
Lingard will be leaving at the end of the season regardless, with talks over a contract extension no longer active.
He can then choose his next club, and will be highly in-demand as a free agent. United should try to spare us all the inevitable, and cash in next month.
Lingard holds the cards, and January can be a difficult window to do business, but for around £10 million, a sale would be satisfactory from United’s perspective.
Lingard’s risk to take
If he does stay, then Lingard is taking the bigger risk. He faces missing out on the England squads in March, and in June, two crucial squads in the build-up towards the 2022 World Cup.
While understandable Lingard wants to control his own future at club level, he is setting himself up for a frustrating few months and year ahead.
It is surely time for him to take a risk again, and leave Manchester United to go and play football, rather than spend the rest of the campaign as a spectator.
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