Jesse Lingard is reportedly ‘willing to talk to Tottenham’ following his omission from the Manchester United squad for their season opener against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Lingard was left out of the squad as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side began the new season with a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, the midfielder a notable absentee after falling firmly out-of-favour of late.
The England international has struggled to replicate his best form amid personal issues over the past two seasons but was left ‘surprised’ by his omission from the 18-man squad, his absence a clear indication of his current status given he is amongst the few players to have completed a full pre-season.
Solskjaer spoke on his side’s lack of match fitness following the defeat and Lingard’s snub appears to point towards a potential exit, with the Times reporting the 27-year-old ‘trained throughout’ the brief summer break, and would now be open to discussing a reunion with Jose Mourinho should Tottenham make a move for the player ahead of the transfer deadline.
The north London side have been linked with Lingard as a potential replacement for Dele Alli, another England international who faces an uncertain future after struggling for both form and fitness.
Alli was left out of the Spurs squad for their clashes against Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Southampton this week amid speculation over his future, though Mourinho claimed that his omission was due to an abundance of attacking options at the club.
That would appear to make the possibility of an approach for Lingard remote, despite the attacking midfielder’s previous form under Mourinho’s management, scoring eight goals and providing a further five assists in a career-best Premier League season during the 2017/18 campaign.
Lingard came through the academy ranks at Manchester United and is believed to be ‘loath to leave’ his boyhood side, but his career appears at a crossroads at present, the signings of Donny van de Beek and Bruno Fernandes having pushed him further down the attacking midfield pecking order.