Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has delivered his verdict on the future of Jesse Lingard amid transfer links with Arsenal.
Lingard has been excellent since joining West Ham United on loan in January, scoring eight goals and assisting four in just nine appearances, helping the Hammers establish themselves as real top four contenders.
But while Lingard’s form is helpful to West Ham, it is not helpful to their hopes of keeping the England international with other teams now circling around a permanent deal.
There are already questions over whether Manchester United will opt to keep Lingard around ahead of next season, and if they don’t Arsenal could rival any Hammers bid.
That’s according to the Evening Standard, who say the Gunners could look to try and sign Lingard to fill their creative void should a permanent move for Martin Odegaard fail amid reports Real Madrid want the Norwegian back this summer.
And amid those links and Lingard’s fine form, Neville has spoken about the midfielder’s future.
“We know he’s a good player. United have a big decision to make,” he told Sky Sports.
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“Do they cash in and get good money for him, and then replenish the squad in an area they want to, and bring extra quality? Or do they think he’s part of a good 23-man squad?
“He can’t lose with the decision, [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer. Lingard’s value has gone up, Jesse is enjoying himself, so he either comes back to United or plays a big part in a title challenge, or he gets a good move, United get the money for him, and they can use that money to spend elsewhere. I don’t think United or Lingard can lose, it’s a win-win for both parties.”
Lingard is only under contract at Old Trafford until 2022, meaning Manchester United will likely decide to sell Lingard or give him a new contract amid the risk of losing him for free after next season.