Jesse Lingard has made it abundantly clear to Manchester United that he wants to remain with the club this season, according to a report.
Lingard looked to be facing a future away from Old Trafford when he went on loan to West Ham in January. He had failed to make a single Premier League appearance in the first half of the season. But his move to the London Stadium prompted a remarkable resurgence.
He scored nine goals in 16 games to help West Ham into the European places, while also earning a recall into contention for the England squad.
West Ham would have loved to keep him, but their hopes of doing so have been dwindling. Even though there are only 12 months left on his contract, Man Utd have ramped up their valuation of Lingard as a result of his recent form.
According to the Daily Star, the Red Devils have a figure of £35m in mind, which is too much for West Ham. Therefore, Lingard faces a fresh dilemma over his future.
He has been involved in three pre-season friendlies back with his parent club, scoring in one. But competition for places remains intense, with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek all vying for an attacking midfield role. Furthermore, the signing of Jadon Sancho has reduced the room available out wide.
But the Star claim that Lingard is willing to fight for his future and has therefore told United he wants to stay.
Previous reports have suggested that United would be willing to cash in on Lingard to fund other deals. However, he has made his stance clear in pre-season talks with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 28-year-old knows that if things do not work out for him, he can leave as a free agent next summer. By then, his options may be open again.
In the meantime, though, he still harbours hopes of carrying his West Ham form back to Manchester.
Man Utd open talks for Pogba replacement
One man who seems less likely to stay at United this summer is Pogba, who is also entering the final 12 months of his contract.
The midfielder hasn’t quite justified the one-time world-record sum United spent to bring him back, although his quality when on the top of his game remains unquestionable.
As he prepares to sign the last big contract of his career, though, he is weighing up all his options. United will not want to repeat their previous mistake of losing him for free.
Therefore, if they sell Pogba this summer, United will have to think about how to replace the World Cup winner. And one report claims they are already in discussions over one potential target…
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