Manchester United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that he has no plans to let Jesse Lingard from leaving the club and instead wants the attacking midfielder to sign a new long-term contract with the Red Devils.
Lingard is yet to start a Premier League or Champions League match so far this season having returned to the club following a highly successful loan spell with West Ham in the second half of last season, where he scored nine times in just 16 appearances.
The 28-year-old England international has been forced to settle for cameos off the bench and a start against the Hammers in an EFL Cup defeat so far in 2021/22, although he has still managed to score two goals and provide the stunning assist for Cristiano Ronaldo’s crucial winner against Villarreal in Europe.
The midfielder’s current deal is due to expire at the end of this season, and West Ham and newly-moneyed Newcastle United are believed to be among his suitors.
In a recent interview with The Players’ Tribune, Jesse Lingard hinted that he would be open to a move in January and stated he wants to play ’30-plus games’ per season. Just last month, he said he would give himself until January to earn himself a regular place in Solskjaer’s lineup, before deciding whether or not to leave.
However, speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of United’s trip to Leicester on Saturday evening, Solskjaer made it clear that he wants to keep Lingard at the club for the long term.
“Jesse’s had a good start to the season, of course,” the manager said. “He’s come on and scored a few goals for us that’s been very important for us.
“We want to prolong his contract, we see him as an important player for us. It’s up to him, maybe up to me to give him more playing time because he deserves to.
“Hopefully, we can get a deal sorted for Jesse because we really rate him.”
Whether Solskjaer’s words are enough to convince the player to stay remains to be seen, but it is clear that much will depend on Lingard’s game time between now and January.