Top 5 possible destinations for Jesse Lingard￼
Jesse Lingard is all but certain to leave Manchester United this summer even if Erik ten Hag attempts to convince him to do otherwise. The 29-year-old has endured a woeful football season at Old Trafford with his contract at the club set to expire in June. Ten Hag will take the reins at the club this summer with wholesale changes expected throughout the playing squad.
Having dazzled while on loan with West Ham last season, where he helped fire them into Europe, the 28-year-old looked set to reignite his Manchester United career as he earned another chance under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, that chance has failed to come to pass. Having appeared just 22 times this season largely as a substitute, the talks over a new Old Trafford contract have collapsed. While it remains to be seen whether the Dutchman sees a place for Lingard, reports earlier in the month claim that the attacking midfielder is resigned to leaving.
Lingard has already played his last game at Old Trafford after being left on the bench during the win over Brentford. And given the likely possibility of the Englishman leaving Old Trafford permanently, here are the five teams, one of whom he might join in the summer.
#1 West Ham
David Moyes’ West Ham seems the most likely destination for Lingard after he revitalised his career in east London after moving on loan last season. Having played just three games for United in the first half of last season, Lingard was offered a lifeline at the high-flying Hammers who were fifth at the time of his signing.
He scored nine goals in just sixteen league games at the London Stadium as the team ultimately finished just two points out of the top four. With the club currently occupying the seventh spot this season, a return to the capital could be on the cards in the coming season.
#2 Newcastle United
Newcastle’s riches have seen them linked with numerous players in the last six months, with Lingard one of the more prominent rumours being branded about. Their increased transfer kitty has given fans hope of beating the drop this season before going on to becoming a real force in the Premier League.
A number of high-profile names have been heavily linked with the club following the much-publicised takeover and Lingard’s is one that keeps popping up. From a United perspective, allowing Lingard to join Newcastle would be one of the more favourable options with the Magpies not seen as a threat in the league.
With minutes on the field a virtual guarantee in the northeast, Lingard would be in search of what he wants after playing a minimal role at United. And an increased wage is likely to be offered if he enters contract negotiations with the Magpies, making them an extremely presentable option.
Everton is another side that has been linked with Lingard in what can only be described as another turbulent period in his career. Frank Lampard will be looking to bolster the Toffees in the coming transfer windows but is well aware of the need to seek out bargains in the transfer market.
Having sold James Rodriguez and Bernard last summer and with Abdoulaye Doucoure also injury prone, there is a huge need for creativity given that only Tom Davies and Alex Iwobi are the best options to play there at the moment.
However, with Lingard available for free next summer Everton will surely be looking to strike a deal for a player who would be exceptional value for money given his undeniable quality.
Everton could offer Lingard guaranteed game time in their hunt for European football, and he wouldn’t have to move house should a switch to Goodison Park materialise. And when you add into the mix that his cousin Gabby George plays for the women’s team at Everton, there are many reasons why he could consider a move to Merseyside.
#4 Inter Milan
Manchester United have almost become Inter Milan’s feeder team in recent years, having signed Matteo Darmian, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, and Ashley Young in recent years.
Lingard could be the next to move to the San Siro given that he agrees to move to a different country with a different playing style. Offering Champions League football and a bid to win the Serie A title, Lingard’s most successful years could come at Inter.
The aim to create a core of former teammates is clear by Simone Inzaghi, who is heading towards a Serie A dominance with the club. The platform would be perfect for Lingard to further showcase his talent. However, minutes on the pitch may be the most limited of the five options – offering a dilemma for the England international.
#5 AC Milan
Another Serie A giant reportedly eyeing a potential move for Lingard is current table-toppers AC Milan. The Rossoneri are currently battling it out atop the Serie A table with rivals Inter as they bid to end an 11-year wait for another league title.
Milan will be looking to push on in the new season as they hope to finally get their hands on an elusive Scudetto once again and are expected to bolster their current roster. With Lingard available on a free transfer this summer, Milan may seek to snap him up given they have witnessed Lingard elevate West Ham during an outstanding loan stint last season.