Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has begrudgingly agreed to loan out midfielder Jesse Lingard this month.
The 28-year-old is yet to play a single minute in either the Premier League or Champions League and has instead been restricted to just three outings in cup competitions, but it was understood that Solskjaer wanted to keep Lingard around as emergency backup.
However, as noted by ESPN, Solskjaer has since held talks with the midfielder, who has stressed his desire to be playing football in the run-up to this summer’s European Championships, and he has reluctantly accepted to find Lingard a new home this month.
Lingard has received plenty of interest from overseas, but he is understood to be keen on remaining in the Premier League, where Newcastle, Tottenham, West Ham, Sheffield United and West Brom are all keeping an eye on the situation.
A lot of the support for Lingard has been drummed up by England boss Gareth Southgate and assistant Steve Holland, who have given rave reviews of the midfielder from their time with him at the 2018 World Cup.
The duo want to see Lingard playing regularly to give him a chance of representing the Three Lions once again, and a final decision on his immediate future is expected to be made in the coming days.
In terms of Lingard’s long-term future, that conversation will likely be held at the end of the season, when the Englishman will enter the final 12 months of his contract.
United were forced to trigger a one-year extension to stop Lingard from walking away for free at the end of the current campaign, but they have no such protection now and will therefore have to start looking for a permanent buyer.
If Lingard can prove his worth in the Premier League and perhaps earn himself a spot back in the England setup, United will likely find it far easier to sell the player, whose £100,000-a-week wages have complicated things thus far.
United also find themselves facing a similar dilemma with centre back Phil Jones, but they hope to have rid themselves of Marcos Rojo’s high wages as the Argentine has agreed a return to his homeland.