Transfer Talk: Where next for United outcast Lingard?
Jesse Lingard only managed 355 minutes of Premier League football this season despite Manchester United’s struggles.
The attacking midfielder enjoyed a successful loan spell at West Ham in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign, proving that he still has bags of talent in his arsenal.
But that was not enough to earn him a decent run this term and Lingard looks almost certain to be heading for the exit door.
His brother Louie Scott hit out at United on Instagram for not giving the academy graduate a send-off, blasting: "Twenty years of blood sweat and tears, four domestic trophies, three cup final goals, not even a farewell."
We take a look at what is next for the Red Devils outcast, who will be available on a free transfer with his contract set to expire next month.
West Ham remain interested in bringing Lingard back to the London Stadium on a permanent basis.
He bagged an impressive nine goals and four assists in 16 appearances following his January loan move in 2021, earning Player of the Month in April that year.
According to reports, West Ham have already made contact with Lingard's representatives following the conclusion of the Premier League season and ready to make a move.
Said Benrahma has been inconsistent since he joined the East Londoners and Nikola Vlasic has failed to impress following his £26million move from CSKA Moscow last summer, making the attacking midfield position a key area of improvement for David Moyes this window.
Vlasic’s hefty fee as well as their ambition to strengthen the rest of the team makes a move for Lingard on a free transfer a no-brainer for the Hammers, even if he commands a large wage packet.
Newcastle could provide West Ham competition for Lingard's signature.
The Magpies reportedly submitted a £5million-plus loan bid to United in January but it was knocked back as the forward wanted to see out the rest of the season at Old Trafford.
His wage demands not be an issue for Saudi-backed Newcastle, who are the richest owners in world football and will be aiming for a spot in Europe next year following a superb end to their campaign.
With more cash at their disposal, Toon chiefs will know that if they are to miss out on Lingard, they will be able to secure terms for another younger option — potentially working to West Ham’s advantage.
Scudetto winners AC Milan and giants Juventus are also reportedly keen to push for the United man.
Milan will be keen to build on their huge success this season and add more goals to their squad as they found the back of the net fewer times than Inter and Napoli in second and third.
If Lingard opts for Turin, he may not be the only man in Manchester heading that way as team-mate Paul Pogba is also being linked with a return to the Old Lady.
At this stage of his career, it would not be a surprise to see Lingard opting for something different, particularly as both Italian clubs pursuing him have the attraction of Champions League football next season — something United, West Ham and Newcastle cannot offer.
However, if new boss Erik ten Hag gives him assurances of game time at Old Trafford, the Englishman may decide to give it another crack at the club despite the relationship turning sour.