Man United confirm Jesse Lingard departure ahead of Premier League transfer battle

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Manchester United have confirmed that Jesse Lingard will leave the club this summer when his contract expires. And his Old Trafford departure could lead to a Premier League transfer battle, with West Ham, Newcastle and Tottenham all reportedly interested in signing him.

Lingard initially joined the Red Devils at under-nine level in 2001. And following his first-team breakthrough under Louis van Gaal in 2014, the winger went on to make 232 appearances for the club.

He was part of Van Gaal’s FA Cup-winning team in 2016, before tasting League Cup and Europa League success under Jose Mourinho the following season. The ace struggled for gametime towards the end of his United career, however, as he started just three Premier League matches during his final campaign in Manchester. And his two-decade association with the Red Devils is now set to come to an end.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jesse for all of the memories he’s helped create during his two decades here and wish him the best of luck in his future career,” United wrote in a statement as they announced his departure on Tuesday afternoon.

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Lingard’s exit could prove to be a blessing in disguise as he will now be a man in demand. The 29-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell with West Ham during the second half of the 2020/21 season as he racked-up nine goals and five assists in 16 appearances.

The Hammers attempted to entice Lingard to the London Stadium permanently last summer following his impressive performances, before he ultimately decided to stay at Old Trafford and fight for a starting place. But the east London giants could now seize their opportunity to finally sign the player ahead of next season.

Like West Ham, Newcastle have also been linked with the player since their takeover by a mega-rich Saudi-led consortium last autumn. And Magpies boss Eddie Howe would surely love to welcome the attacker to St James’ Park.

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Newcastle made huge improvements following their takeover and were one of the form teams in the Premier League during the second half of the last campaign. And Lingard would likely be well rewarded financially if he did decide to move to the north east.

Meanwhile, Tottenham are another club who could wrestle for Lingard’s signature in an effort to bolster their attacking options. And Spurs boss Antonio Conte would also be able to offer the player the added incentive of playing Champions League football, unlike Newcastle and West Ham.

Lingard would likely have to settle for a place on the bench in a lot of games if he were to move to north London, however. And after enduring a string of frustrating seasons at Old Trafford due to a paucity of gametime, the England international could decide he wants to play for a manager who will make him a regular starter. So he will be faced with a huge decision over where to play his football next season.

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