Jesse Lingard has refused a new contract as the Manchester United man’s future hangs in the balance.
The 28-year-old was ready to fight for his place at the club this summer, but with the attacking depth United now possess he may struggle for minutes this term.
The United man has racked up more minutes for his country than his club in the early stages of 21/22, being given just four minutes from the bench.
Whilst on international duty with England the attacking midfielder showed just what he is capable of with two goals and an assist against minnows Andorra in the Three Lions’ 4-0 World Cup qualifier win.
Lingard was linked with a move away from Old Trafford all summer, with West Ham the most likely destination following his successful loan spell their last season.
And Hammers coach Stuart Pearce had this to say about the situation:
“He’s missed the opportunity to leave United in this transfer window, he can reassess his situation come January once again and decide whether there’s an opportunity to move clubs, he holds the cards, Jesse.”
“The most important thing for him at the moment is his football and he’s playing the odd game for United and also playing extremely well for England and those performances for England might help him get in the United side.”
“I think he’s too good a player to be sat on the outside of it not playing and he’s at an age where he needs to be playing.”
A move seemed a perfect fit for everyone involved this summer, with it feeling like the right time for the 31 capped star to move on.
But with a mixture of United pricing him out of a move and the player wanting to stick around, Lingard is now on the outside looking in and wasting his prime years as a backup.
Having rejected a new contract and with West Ham not ruling out a January move, a cut-priced deal could be agreed in a few months, putting an end to the whole saga.