The England international has been tipped to leave Old Trafford before the January transfer window closes
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke out on Jesse Lingard’s future after leaving him out of Manchester United’s FA Cup clash with Liverpool on Sunday.
Lingard has gradually fallen down the squad pecking order at Old Trafford since Solskjaer’s appointment as the Red Devils’ permanent head coach in March 2019.
The 28-year-old featured in 40 games across all competitions in 2019-20, but most of those appearances came as a substitute and he struggled to even make the bench after returning from lockdown in June.
Bruno Fernandes’ arrival from Sporting CP last January left Lingard on the fringes of the action and competition for places has only increased since then, with Solskjaer also adding Donny van de Beek to his ranks from Ajax in September.
The England international has been restricted to just three outings for United across all competitions this season and he was not included in the 20-man squad for their latest fixture against Liverpool.
Solskjaer’s side progressed to the last 16 of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win over the Reds, with Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes grabbing the goals for the hosts.
Solskjaer fielded questions on Lingard post-match amid rumours linking the midfielder with a move away from United, but stopped short of confirming whether or not he will be allowed to leave before the January transfer window closes.
The United boss insists that he still values Lingard highly despite reducing his role in the team, as he told reporters: “Jesse trained this morning, he wasn’t in the squad.
“So, of course, he wants to play football, we will have to see and I will sit down with Jesse and make a decision on what we’re going to do.
“So far, he’s been the ultimate professional, trained well with a small group this morning that were not in the squad.
“I will sit down and see if anything comes up. I’m very happy to have him around us as I know he could have played today and done well.”
The likes of Leicester City, Newcastle and Sheffield United have been credited with an interest in Lingard, who saw his current contract at United extended through to 2022 at the end of December.
The Red Devils exercised their option to tie the playmaker down for an extra year to avoid losing him on a free transfer in the summer, but his long-term future remains very much up in the air.
Lingard will be back in contention for a spot in Solskjaer’s squad when the Premier League leaders play host to Sheffield United on Wednesday night.