Newcastle United are reportedly willing to make Manchester United star Jesse Lingard their highest-paid player as they plot a January transfer swoop.

According to The Times, Newcastle United are stepping up their pursuit for Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard and are weighing up a lucrative contract offer that will make the playmaker the highest-paid player in the club’s history. The England international’s contract with the Red Devils is set to expire next summer. He is expected to leave the Red Devils after contract talks have stalled in recent weeks.

Despite his stellar form in the latter half of the last season, producing 9 goals and 5 assists from 16 Premier League on a loan spell at West Ham, the 28-year-old has been unable to break into Manchester United’s starting XI this season. In total, Lingard has featured in 11 games across all competitions this season but has only seen 87 minutes of Premier League action so far this campaign.

Although it remains to be seen how Ralf Rangnick’s appointment at Old Trafford would affect Lingard’s playing situation, the player has grown increasingly frustrated at the lack of game time and is convinced that his future lies away from Old Trafford as he goes in search of regular minutes. The England star needs regular first-team football to have a chance of making Gareth Southgate’s 2022 World Cup squad.

Lingard was rumoured to be on his way to West Ham last summer, but Manchester United’s hefty valuation proved to be the deal-breaker. And while the Hammers remain interested in a winter move, there is no shortage of admirers. Newcastle are thought to be one of the favourites for Lingard’s signature and will look to beat off the stiff competition by exercising their financial muscle.

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The Newcastle hierarchy has already held talks with Lingard’s representatives and proposed a bumper four-and-a-half-year deal worth more than the club’s current top earner, Miguel Almiron, who earns £100,000 per week. Despite him being able to depart for free in the summer, the St. James’ Park outfit are said to be willing to pay a significant fee in January to secure his services as they look to bolster their squad to boost their survival hopes.

The Magpies have identified the midfielder as their top transfer target ahead of the January transfer window as they look to make influential signings to help them turn their fortunes around and drag them away from the relegation scrap.

The Toon have a decent attacking unit, but they are heavily reliant on Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin for goals and creativity, while they also lack goals from midfield. And bringing in someone of Lingard’s quality could be just what the doctor ordered, with the potential to turn Newcastle into one of the division’s most devastating counter-attacking sides owing to the blistering pace of their frontline.

Lingard is a powerful dribbler and can be hard to stop when running at full tilt towards the opponents. He possesses the vision to play a killer pass and the end-product and poise to be effective in the final third. He would bring a new dynamic to Eddie Howe’s side, and if he could have the sort of impact he had at West Ham, he might just be well worth the money.

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