Minutes have not been an easy to find for Lingard at Old Trafford, to the extent that his performances on loan to West Ham United last season were eye-popping to many neutrals.
And West Ham wanted Lingard back under David Moyes’ purview this season only to see Man United hang onto the attacker.
Now the Red Devils look set to lose him for nothing, as Lingard has turned down a new deal with the knowledge that his contract is up this summer and he can negotiate with other clubs come January.
Lingard’s played just four minutes this season despite plenty of absences and late arrivals at Old Trafford, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing plus the eventual return of Marcus Rashford will not bode well for his playing time (though Daniel James’ sale to Leeds could do the opposite).
But he was most effective in an attacking midfield role for West Ham, and is behind Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford.
Lingard’s even added seven caps to his England total since showcasing himself on loan, scoring twice with an assist against Honduras on Saturday.
Rumors of a move to West Ham are naturally in the offing, and reports Tuesday claimed that Aston Villa loves the idea of signing Lingard on a free.
Maybe he just wants a darker shade of red.
But it’ll be interesting to see if West Ham will offer money in January considering that Lingard will have only linked himself to Champions League play and the Irons might need improved depth for a Europa League knockout round run.
The Irons will be expected to advance to the knockout rounds out of a group with Dinamo Zagreb, Genk, and Rapid Vienna.
Villa’s desires to sign Lingard could be linked to their table standing later this year, because Dean Smith has added Leon Bailey, Danny Ings, and Emiliano Buendia to join Ollie Watkins, Trezeguet, Anwar El Ghazi, Bertrand Traore, and young Jacob Ramsey.
All of the above names are signed at Villa Park through at least the end of next season.
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