Manchester United are believed to be considering a ‘cut price’ January exit for Jesse Lingard, despite the forward’s positive start to the new season.
The England international had been heavily linked with a return to West Ham United throughout the summer, after scoring nine goals in 16 games on-loan at the club last season, yet he has since been reintegrated back into the first-team set up at Old Trafford.
A difficult 18 months or so prior to his temporary stint with the Hammers had seen the academy graduate slip way down the pecking order at his boyhood club, although he now looks to have a part to play after making an impact in the early weeks of the season.
While he has predominantly been restricted to substitute appearances, the 28-year-old has made the most of those brief cameos, notably scoring against Newcastle United and bagging a late winner against former club West Ham, while he also came off the bench to assist Cristiano Ronaldo’s stoppage-time strike in the dramatic win over Villarreal.
The player has, however, hinted that he may need more regular game time to secure a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad next year, meaning he faces an uncertain future at United with less than a year remaining on his existing deal.
As per the Sun, the Red Devils are seemingly open to moving him on for a ‘cut price’ deal in the winter window, should he not agree to extend his current contract.
The report suggests that the two parties are in negotiations over an improved deal, with Lingard believed to have been offered roughly £135,000-a-week in order to commit himself to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Should he refuse that offer, United are likely to let him leave for a fee of around £15m in January should a suitable buyer emerge, as they hope to avoid letting the long-serving player leave for free at the end of the season.
The likes of West Ham and Leicester City have been linked with making a move, as too have Newcastle United following their recent takeover, although Lingard is believed to be keen to stay where he is, so long as he gets ‘assurances’ over his playing time under Solskjaer.
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