Jesse Lingard's Man Utd contract expires this summer; Lingard is understood to be keen to listen to any approach from Newcastle and is impressed by their signing of his friend Kieran Trippier; Tottenham also interested in forward but United do not want to strengthen a top-four rival
Friday 21 January 2022 15:16, UK
Newcastle are pushing hard to sign Jesse Lingard but have so far been unable to agree a deal with Manchester United.
Talks continued into the night as Newcastle tried to sign the England forward on loan ahead of this weekend's Premier League match against Leeds United.
Manchester United are thought to favour a permanent move, while a loan may suit both Newcastle and Lingard with the risk of relegation hanging over the North East club.
It is looking increasingly likely Newcastle would have to make an incredible offer to both Manchester United and Lingard himself to get this one over the line this month.
United are aware this is the final opportunity to get a transfer fee for Lingard, who could leave the club as a free agent in the summer - even if Newcastle come in with an acceptable offer.
The 29-year-old has a good friendship with Kieran Trippier, who joined Newcastle from Atletico Madrid this month, and is understood to be impressed by the club's ability to attract a player of his calibre.
However, Lingard is currently able to speak to foreign sides about a pre-contract agreement, and any offer from Newcastle would need to reflect the fact he is able to join a new club for free in the summer.
The Magpies' bid could be helped by the fact they are not competing with United for a position in the top four, meaning Ralf Rangnick's side would not be strengthening a rival if they sanctioned his departure.
United's top-four competitors Tottenham have also approached Lingard's representatives over a transfer in the summer, but United do not want to strengthen a top-four rival in this transfer window.
The midfielder was told by former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he would feature regularly for the side this season, but he started just once under the Norwegian before he was sacked in November.
Lingard's fortunes have not improved under Rangnick, who has also started the midfielder only once since replacing Solskjaer.
Lingard's lack of game time contributed to his absence from the England squad for their most recent matches in November, after which he expressed his desire to play regular football ahead of the World Cup this winter.
Lingard's struggles this campaign are in stark contrast to the second half of the 2020/21 season, when he scored nine times in 16 games during an impressive loan spell at West Ham.
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick says he would not be 'unhappy' if Lingard stayed at the club in the January transfer window, amid interest from Newcastle.
He said: "With Jesse, it is the same as it is in regard to a few other players. He's a really good player, I can see that in every training session. For me, it's normal that other clubs, such as Newcastle, show interest in him, but I'm not the one who is dealing with that.
"It's also a question of what does the player want? What kind of other positions does he really have? Does he see a chance to get more game time? Those are all questions that I cannot answer for him or for another player. This is something that has to be done by the players and the agents themselves.
"What I can say is he's a very good player, a technical play and he can play in many Premier League clubs on a regular basis. Here at Manchester United, it's not so easy because we have other players who play in that position and we cannot change from one game to the other in five or is positions.
"Therefore, the question for him is - I know that his contract is expiring in the summer, but the question is what does he want to do? Does he want more game time from now on, then I think it's quite legitimate to speak and think about other options.
"But I wouldn't be unhappy if he stayed for the rest of the season because I know he is a player who can play, even if we need to play him from the start. I know what kind of level I will get from him and that's how I would describe the situation."
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth:
"It's thought that he's keen to hear what they have to say and a permanent move cannot be ruled out either.
"But you have to take into account the fact that he would be a free agent in the summer, which would give him all the options and the financial implications that would have.
"There's no transfer fee in the summer and players can then get a signing-on fee, so any kind of permanent offer would have to have the financial implications that a potential free agent move would have for Lingard.
"Furthermore, Lingard is good friends with Kieran Trippier and said to be quite impressed that Newcastle have managed to sign a player of Trippier's calibre, despite the position they find themselves in.
"What about the situation Lingard finds himself in? After his West Ham loan spell, his stock was really high. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave him assurances that he would play for Man Utd [this] season. He has zero Premier League starts this season.
"The other implication for Lingard is that in 10 months' time, there is a World Cup. He will want regular first-team football and if he's not going to get that at Man Utd for the rest of this season, then that is something he has to think about.
"If he waits until the summer, and goes as a free agent, he's going to have a two- or three-month window to impress Gareth Southgate ahead of that World Cup.
"As far as United are concerned as well, when they're deciding about which destination would be best for Lingard, they've got to decide what is best for Man Utd.
"We're all talking about West Ham and Tottenham being interested. But this is not last season. Man Utd are in direct competition with the likes of West Ham and Tottenham for a top-four finish.
"So maybe if the Newcastle one progresses, United might be willing to say, 'they're not direct rivals, they're fighting for relegation, we might let you get first dibs there'."
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"Dharmesh is saying they don't want Lingard going to West Ham or Spurs because they don't want to strengthen one of their rivals.
"They're worried he'll go there and do what he did at West Ham last season - I think he scored nine times in 16 games.
"If they think that there's the threat or the possibility that could happen, why don't they give him a chance? Because they're obviously worried that he is such a good player, that he's going to go to West Ham and Spurs and help them to finish in the top four.
"So why not give him a chance? The same as Donny van de Beek - why not give them a chance?
"I think it's a no-brainer for Newcastle. United are saying 'pay a loan fee for him, pay 100 per cent of his wages', and for an outlay of a £2m fee and £80,000 per week, Newcastle will be getting a player that can create and score the goals which will keep them up.
"We all saw what he did at West Ham and what he does for England when he is given a chance. You're guaranteed the creation and scoring of goals with Lingard.
"If I was Newcastle, I'd be trying everything to get him and I'm baffled that he's not even getting a chance at United."
Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe says the club is working 'very hard' to add to their squad before the close of the January transfer window.
"It's been a slightly frustrating week for us in the transfer market. We obviously know we're against a deadline and we're desperately trying.
"Everyone connected with the club is desperately trying to improve the squad and working very hard behind the scenes."
Who will be on the move in January?
The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.
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