Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not let Jesse Lingard leave Manchester United this month despite the forward being desperate for game time.
Lingard has not played a single minute in the Premier League this season and has only even made it to the bench on four occasions. He also did not feature in any Champions League action and was left out of the EFL Cup quarter final and semi-final sides.
And according to ESPN, sources report a ‘tug-of-war’ where Lingard is ready to move elsewhere to kick-start his career but Solskjaer is resisting the move in case he is needed later in the season.
‘United have exercised a one-year extension in Lingard’s contract that will keep him at the club until 2022 but he remains keen to play regularly after falling down the pecking order under Solskjaer,’ reporter Rob Dawson writes.
‘Lingard … has plenty of suitors in the Premier League and abroad. Marseille, Porto, Inter Milan, Nice, Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and West Ham United have all registered an interest but United have not yet provided a definitive answer as to whether the former academy graduate is available.
‘Solskjaer has already allowed Timothy Fosu-Mensah to join Bayer Leverkusen and given Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero permission to speak to other clubs — and the Norwegian is conscious of losing too many squad players in January ahead of a hectic schedule in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League between now and May.
‘Solskjaer and Lingard … have maintained a good relationship and the United boss has been impressed with Lingard’s dedication and commitment in training … while sources have told ESPN that Lingard regularly tops the performance data stats in training.’
It may be that United and Solskjaer in particular will take the time between now and the end of the month to take stock of what other options could be available to provide cover if Lingard were allowed to leave.
For example, the speed with which Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri settle in and develop and whether Dan James is loaned out could be significant factors in the decision.
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