Inter boss Antonio Conte is considering launching a bid for Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard if he can make space in his squad this January.
Lingard is yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this season and made just his third appearance of the season in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Watford.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to offload the 28-year-old this January and although there have been links to Sheffield United, 90min understands that Newcastle United are keen onstriking a loan deal.
But Lingard may have another option as the Mirror claim that Inter are also interested in a loan deal. Former Chelsea boss Conte is on the look out for new recruits and has been given rave reviews on the attacking midfielder by former team-mates Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Young.
The trio have helped convince Conte that Lingard would be a solid replacement for the unwanted Christian Eriksen, who is on the transfer list at San Siro after an underwhelming 12 months. It’s expected that he’ll leave Inter on loan before the end of the January transfer window, amid interest from a number of suitors.
However, things have been complicated by an ongoing legal dispute between Inter and Eriksen’s agent, Martinus Schoots, who has appealed to the Italian sports committee, CONI Collegio di Garanzia, over missing payments stemming from Eriksen’s move to the club.
Schoots claims to have been promised a fee of €7m for negotiating the Dane’s exit from Tottenham, but he has so far received only €1m – and this dispute has forced Inter to put the breaks on another transfer.
If Eriksen does leave, Conte could pursue a loan deal for Lingard, who comes with the work rate needed to excel under the demanding manager.
Inter are not afraid to offer struggling players the chance to reignite their careers. Conte has worked wonders with Lukaku, Sanchez and Young, and it appears as though Lingard could be the next United outcast in line to benefit from Conte’s work.
Lingard is one of several players Solskjaer hopes to see the back off in January. High-earners like Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are also heading for the exit door, with both defenders attracting interest from fellow Premier League clubs.