Reports from English outlets claim that Jesse Lingard is a man in demand. The Sun have reported that Chelsea and Arsenal are eyeing the Manchester United midfielder for a summer move, while the Daily Mirror claim that Tottenham are monitoring the England international as well.
Lingard has come a long way since joining Manchester United as an 8-year-old boy. Having made his first team debut in 2014, he is now a well established member in Jose Mourinho’s squad.
This season, Lingard hasn’t really been a regular fixture in the first team. But the player proved his big-match prowess with his goal in the EFL Cup final against Southampton last month.
In total, Lingard has netted four goals while providing 3 assists in 25 appearances in all competitions, but there has been little progress on talks over a new deal with Manchester United. The England international only has 15 months left on his current contract, and clubs are starting to take stock of his situation.
A summer move beckons? (Photo courtesy – Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
The report by Sun states that Chelsea and Arsenal are both keen to make a move for Lingard, and they could go on the offensive for the player when the transfer window reopens in June. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte views Lingard as a huge potential asset in the system he uses at Stamford Bridge.
Lingard has shown himself to be a versatile player during his Manchester United career, and it is believed that he can be equally adept at playing as a forward, where he can challenge Pedro and Willian for a place in the eleven, as well as a wing-back.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are currently in a precarious situation, with the North London club possible facing an exodus of attacking players. In fact, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lucas Perez have all been linked with moves away from the club.
As a result, positions in attack could well be up for grabs, and this is where Lingard comes in. Arsenal have been linked with Lingard previously as well, and they could be willing to pay a six-figure sum to lure the England international to the Emirates Stadium.
And while Chelsea and Arsenal are the two heavy favourites to sign Lingard, the two clubs could face competition from their London rivals, Tottenham, where Mauricio Pochettino is said to be monitoring the player’s situation.
However, Manchester United are unlikely to be keen to sell any of their players to a direct rival. Lingard is United through and through. He is said to be seeking a bumper pay rise and a possible move will only happen if uncertainty continues to surround his future at Old Trafford.