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
Friday 21 January 2022 18:20, UK
Newcastle United are doubling their efforts to bring in Jesse Lingard from Manchester United before the January transfer window slams shut.
The Magpies have had a productive window so far, with defender Kieran Trippier joining from Atletico Madrid and striker Chris Wood moving to St. James' Park from Burnley.
But with just 18 games remaining for Eddie Howe to guide Newcastle - who have averaged a league-low 0.6 points-per-game this season - to Premier League safety it's clear further reinforcements are still needed - but is Lingard the answer?
Lingard was rejuvenated when he joined West Ham on loan for the second half of the 2020/21 season. If we look at Lingard's output with the Hammers, we can see just how influential a signing he could be were he to replicate that form on Tyneside.
The 29-year-old featured in 16 of West Ham's final 18 games of last season and registered nine goals and four assists which helped deliver nine victories for the Hammers.
Lingard's contribution was underlined by the fact his goals alone earned West Ham 10 points, meaning David Moyes' side would have finished 12th instead sixth without them.
West Ham's fruitful Europa League campaign this season would have been a distant dream had it not been for Lingard's output. In the case of Newcastle this season, a similar contribution could be the difference between relegation and Premier League survival.
It remains a big if whether Newcastle will be able to get a deal for Lingard over the line.
Despite Newcastle's continued efforts, they have so far been able to reach an agreement with Manchester United, who are believed to favour a permanent transfer over a loan deal.
Were a deal to materialise, Lingard's arrival would undoubtedly upgrade the attacking options Newcastle have at their disposal compared to their relegation rivals.
Newcastle's most-productive attacker in the final 18 games of 2020/21 was Joe Willock, but despite making an impact at St. James' Park, he registered fewer goals, fewer assists, fewer wins and his goal gained fewer points than Lingard managed during the same period at West Ham.
Burnley have got 21 games remaining this season. Their most productive forward in the same period last term, Chris Wood, who was also down on Lingard's figures in all areas except goals, while Wood has since moved to Newcastle, weakening relegation rivals Burnley in the process.
In the case of Watford and Norwich, their previous Premier League campaign in 2019/20 saw Troy Deeney - who is no longer at Vicarage Road - and Teemu Pukki top their respective attacking charts, but, again, Lingard comfortably outperformed the pair of them.
Given his pedigree it goes without saying how talented Lingard is. If Newcastle are able to get a deal done and harness his potential just as David Moyes did at West Ham, he could be a priceless acquisition. But with output as potent as this, Newcastle may not be the only club chasing his signature.
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.
"With Jesse, it is the same as it is in regard to a few other players," Rangnick said. "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 Kaveh Solhekol:
"There is talk that United 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.
"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?
"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."
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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