Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sanctioned Jesse Lingard’s loan transfer to Manchester United in the January transfer window and the final decision now rests with the club’s board of directors, sources have told ESPN.
Solskjaer was keen to keep Lingard at Old Trafford ahead of a busy second half of the season but, after discussions with the midfielder, agreed he should be allowed to move to find regular first-team football.
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Despite significant interest from abroad, Lingard, 28, is keen to stay in the Premier League and Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion are among a host of contenders.
England manager Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland gave glowing references to a number of managers after Lingard played a key role in the race to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018.
A final decision on Lingard’s immediate future is expected to be made in the coming days. Lingard has found opportunities hard to find this season, with three titles and two starts.
His two starts came in Cups, against Luton in the Carabao Cup in September and against Watford in the FA Cup earlier this month. He has yet to play in the Premier League this season and was last included in the Match Day squad for a league game against Aston Villa on New Years Day.
United have triggered a one-year extension of Lingard’s pre-Christmas contract that will keep him at the club until 2022, but he is desperate for first-team football and has requested permission to leave on loan.
He has scored 33 goals in 210 games for United since entering the academy and debuting under Louis van Gaal in 2014. He has scored crucial goals in the 2016 FA Cup final under Van Gaal and the final of the 2017 League Cup under Jose Mourinho.
Caped 24 times by England, sources told ESPN that Southgate and Holland want Lingard to get regular matches and get back in contention for the national team.