Manchester United chiefs reportedly feel “petrified” of letting Jesse Lingard leave this month through fear of him embarrassing them with impressive form.
The 29-year-old is at the centre of United attention once again following a rollercoaster 12 months in his career. This time last year, he sought a move away to West Ham to improve his game time.
But he did more than just that. In fact, he fired the Hammers into the Europa League and almost into the Champions League. Along the way, Lingard picked up a Premier League Player of the Month award and got back in the England squad.
His hopes were subsequently high of re-staking a claim in the United ranks. However, he has played just 273 minutes this season and so his future is again a topic of major debate.
Relegation-battling Newcastle have come forward with one of the most high-profile approaches. However, the deal has all-but collapsed, mainly because United demanded a £12million bonus if the Magpies stay in the Premier League.
The Daily Mirror has now claimed to reveal further reasons why United have effectively priced Newcastle out of a deal.
A source close to the player told the newspaper: “United are petrified of Jesse going elsewhere, playing really well and showing them up.
“They don’t want a repeat of what happened at West Ham last season, where he almost helped get them into the Champions League with the goals he scored.
Lingard future a hot topic
“Jesse’s popular with the United players and they feel for him. The way the club are treating Jesse, given how long he’s been at United, is sending out the wrong message to the rest of the squad.
“It says everything about the current state of United that Jesse wants to go to play for a club near the bottom of the Premier League, rather than stay where he is.”
Previous reports have revealed how Lingard feels angry and frustrated by United’s treatment of him.
The Daily Mirror adds that the midfielder’s team-mates share that sentiment. Marcus Rashford is one player who has, in particular, not taken well to the developments.
Rashford and Lingard are training together in Dubai while the Premier League is on a mid-season break.