West Ham v Manchester United, Match in Pictures
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Manchester United face two obstacles in their quest to sign midfielder Jesse Lingard to a new contract. Lingard spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham and was widely tipped to join the Hammers permanently in the summer, but boss Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer insisted that he fight for his place at Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old incredibly scored a stunning winner against West Ham on Sunday. Lingard was put on as a substitute and curled home an 89th-minute winner.
It came just five days after his crucial error against Young Boys in the Champions League saw United drop to a miserable defeat.
United want to get the academy graduate to sign a new deal, with his current terms expiring at the end of next June, meaning he can leave for nothing.
The club’s transfer hierarchy, which consists of technical director Darren Fletcher and sporting director John Murtough, apparently has a list of four players with whom they wish to pen new contracts.
Lingard is on that list alongside Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw. However, United may struggle to get Lingard to finalise new terms and him doing so will be subject to two conditions.
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According to The Athletic, the England star wants to be guaranteed game time at Old Trafford and will also consider other options if a better offer is made elsewhere.
Lingard has spent the best part of two decades at the club and could be offered a better deal by a new club when he becomes a free agent at the start of July.
He turns 29 in December and wants to feature regularly for whichever club he plays for. He can talk to overseas clubs about a pre-contract agreement as of January 1.
A wonderful winning goal against former loan employer West Ham might convince Solskjaer that Lingard can compete with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial for one of the roles behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lingard revealed after the game that his muted celebration was out of respect for Hammers supporters.
“They supported me in the loan spell and gave me a great reception, so it was only right to pay them back,” Lingard told Sky Sports.
“It was a great reception from the West Ham fans. I had a brilliant time here, but I had to do my bit.”
It was Lingard’s poor pass that led to Young Boys earning a shock 2-1 win against United in the Champions League last week.
Boss Solskjaer has insisted that the player had nothing to apologise for.
“You have to learn to live with the highs and the lows,” Solskjaer added. “He said sorry after Tuesday and everyone said that’s not necessary. He came on [today] and was brilliant.
“It was a great goal. I’m so happy for Jesse. Of course, he had a tough evening on Tuesday, but he’s knuckled down and has worked hard again.
“He’s been the same bright, positive lad, and what a goal. So happy for him. It was a great pass from Nemanja [Matic] and a good turn by Jesse.
“[It was] a great response to their goal. I thought we played some very good football first half, but then we need to defend better.”
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