Barcelona and AC Milan head the line to sign Jesse Lingard on a free transfer next summer with the Manchester United star likely to leave after rejecting the contract offer as he seeks to seal a place in the World Cup squad
- Jesse Lingard rejected offer of new contract to Man United last month
- If he chooses to leave this summer, Barcelona and AC Milan want to sign him
- The 28-year-old England midfielder wants to join the squad for the 2022 World Cup
- The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho did not help his chances at United
Barcelona and AC Milan will be leading the way to sign Jesse Lingard if he leaves Manchester United for a free transfer next summer.
Lingard rejected United’s offer of a new contract last month so he could weigh his options before making a decision on his future.
The 28-year-old England midfielder wanted to see how much playing time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had given him following the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho, having spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham.
Jesse Lingard could say goodbye to Manchester United next summer when his contract expires
Lingard rejected offer of a new contract last month so it could assess its options
However, Lingard has only made one start this season – against West Ham in the Carabao Cup – and has spent more time on the pitch for his country than for his club.
Lingard wants to maximize his chances of being in Gareth Southgate’s side for the World Cup next year after narrowly missing the Euro this summer.
Now it looks like he will see the rest of his contract until June and leave with a free transfer, ending an association with United that dates back more than 20 years.
Solskjaer want to keep Lingard and United could still make an improved offer – or even try to sell him in January – but the final decision will be up to the player.
Lingard found playing time limited given the extent of United’s attacking talent
Barcelona want to bring Lingard to Camp Nou (pictured) in free summer transfer
He can open talks with foreign clubs from January 1 and it is understood that Barcelona and Milan have both expressed keen interest in signing him as a free agent.
Meanwhile, United captain Harry Maguire confirmed on Wednesday that he hasn’t trained since injuring his calf last month, meaning Solskjaer will definitely be without his two defenders. prime central offices in Leicester on Saturday.
Raphael Varane has already been sent off due to groin strain and Maguire said: “It will happen but I still haven’t trained with the team. It’s obviously a frustrating injury for me, but I’m improving and will be back on the pitch soon. ‘
Lingard celebrates scoring a late winner against West Ham – where he was loaned out last season
Lingard (front row, right) has been with United since 2000, when he was just seven. This photo was ahead of a 2011 Under-18 FA Youth Cup match