Jesse Lingard has made his first comments since being denied a move to Newcastle United on transfer deadline day.
The Manchester United midfielder has previously made it clear that he’s leaving Old Trafford in the summer when his contract expires. He’s barely featured for the Red Devils this season, despite excelling at West Ham on loan.
That led to renewed speculation that Lingard could leave Man United in January. They wanted to sell, but not to a rival. Meanwhile, he only wanted a loan so he can become a free agent in the summer and assess his options.
It seemed like Newcastle was the perfect destination. They needed a player of his calibre desperately, and were happy to pay to take him on loan.
MORE NEWCASTLE STORIES
Man United’s greed meant Lingard went nowhere in January, and now faces up to the prospect of half a season doing basically nothing. That’s not what he needs with the World Cup on the horizon.
Jesse Lingard shows his class after Newcastle transfer heartache
Man United are set to face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup tonight, and Ralf Rangnick confirmed that Lingard won’t be involved.
As reported by the Athletic, The Red Devils boss said: “He asked me and the club if we could give him a couple of days off just to clear up his mind. He will be back in the group next Monday. He’ll be back for training, and be a regular part of the whole squad again.”
However, Lingard has since disputed these claims.
He wrote on Twitter: “The club advised me to have time off due to personal reasons! But my headspace is clear and I’ll always be professional when called upon and give 100 percent.”
So which is it? Did Lingard ask for time off or was he told to take time off? Regardless, it’s a messy situation that hasn’t satisfied anyone.
Man United surely would’ve wanted to get Lingard’s wages off the books, while Newcastle have missed out on a top quality player. As for Lingard, he just wanted to go play football and was denied that opportunity.
He remained professional in his statement though, refusing to put his dissatisfaction in the public domain.
It’s disappointing that Lingard isn’t a Newcastle player right now, but hopefully we make a fresh move for him in the summer when he won’t be shackled by his current employers. However, his free agent status will certainly make him an attractive prospect, and could make any Toon deal very tricky.