Manchester United will consider letting go of England midfielder Jesse Lingard in January for as little as £15 million if he continues to run down his contract.

According to a report from The Sun, Manchester United are prepared to accept a low ball £15 million transfer fee for their attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard to avoid losing him on a free next summer. This comes as a major boost to the player’s suitors across the continent.

A Manchester United academy product, Lingard, has endured several difficult seasons at Old Trafford. A poor run of form and unfortunate off-field difficulties contributed to a tough spell in recent seasons. He was sent out on loan to spend the latter half of the 2020/21 campaign with West Ham. The 28-year-old completely turned the tables with his magnificent displays and spectacular red-hot form.

In 16 appearances for the Irons, Lingard netted nine goals and registered five assists, helping them achieve their European ambition as David Moyes side secured an unlikely top-six finish. Following his exploits, West Ham were interested in signing him this summer but ultimately fell short. There were also rumours that Lingard himself turned down the move to fight for his spot in Manchester United’s starting XI.

However, things aren’t going out as expected. The England international had 136 minutes of footballing action across all competitions despite firing home a winner against West Ham to prove his worth and setting up for Ronaldo’s winner against Villareal.

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The 28-year-old has been in negotiations with the club about extending his contract at Old Trafford, which expires at the end of the season. He has been offered a lucrative weekly salary of about £135,000, a significant rise on his existing contract, but the academy graduate needs reassurance that he will get regular playing time in the first team.

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup coming thick and fast, Lingard is in desperate need of game-time to showcase his talent in order to retain his place in the England setup under Gareth Southgate. Marcus Rashford is back in training to regain his fitness after the shoulder surgery, and it’s understood that Rashford’s return will send him even further down the pecking order. Perhaps, parting ways in January is the best possible solution for all parties involved.

His contract situation has alerted the Englishman’s suitors, with West Ham still retaining an interest in bringing Lingard back to the London Stadium. Additionally, Leicester City have also entered the race after recent links as they look for a creative option after James Maddison’s poor start to the campaign. A move to Newcastle United cannot be discarded following their Saudi-backed takeover.

With the 28-year-old England international available for a bargain £15 million, it sets the stage up perfectly for a likely transfer battle in the upcoming January transfer window. Only time will tell whether Lingard would get his move or will end up staying at Old Trafford by extending his deal.

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