Sources: Lingard set to leave Man United on free


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Manchester United are facing the prospect of losing Jesse Lingard for nothing in the summer after the midfielder decided to shelve contract talks because of a continued lack of game time at Old Trafford, sources have told ESPN.

Lingard has already rejected one offer to extend his deal, which has seven months left to run, and has no plans to re-start negotiations after starting just one game so far this season in September’s Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham.

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The 28-year-old is determined to find regular first team football in an effort to win back his place in the England squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He was left out by manager Gareth Southgate for the last two qualifiers against Albania and San Marino along with United teammate Jadon Sancho.

Sources have told ESPN that Lingard and his representatives have been left frustrated by some of their dealings with United. It is understood United’s initial contract offer was below the terms of his existing deal while promises made in the summer that he would be central to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans this season have not been followed through.

He has played just 63 minutes in five substitute appearances in the Premier League this season but has still managed to score twice, including a late winner against West Ham in September.

Sources have told ESPN that Lingard could yet ask for a loan move in January ahead of a permanent transfer when his contract expires on June 30. A host of European clubs including Barcelona and AC Milan have registered an interest in signing Lingard on a free next summer while West Ham, Newcastle, Tottenham and Everton head up the list of interest from the Premier League.

Lingard enjoyed a successful loan spell at West Ham last season, scoring nine goals in 16 games to earn a place in Southgate’s provisional squad for Euro 2020.

He was left out of the latest round of international games with Southgate choosing instead to call up previously uncapped Emile Smith Rowe and Conor Gallagher, both regulars for their club sides this season.

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