Jesse Lingard rejects new Manchester United contract after snubbing West Ham return over the summer

By Jack Rosser

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has rejected the offer of a new contract at Old Trafford amid concerns over game time.

The England international snubbed the chance to return to West Ham over the summer despite the guarantee of chances to play. Lingard was determined to stay at Manchester United and prove his worth to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Lingard is now into the final year of his £100,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford and will be able to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season if no agreement is found.

The attacking midfielder has not started a game for Manchester United so far this season but scored twice and laid on an assist in England's win over Andorra on Sunday.

David Moyes was keen to bring Lingard back to east London after his stellar spell on loan last season, scoring nine goals and creating five assist in 16 appearances.

Lingard made it clear to the Hammers that his intention was to stay at Manchester United this summer and Moyes then moved to sign attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic, who has taken the No11 shirt worn by Lingard, on deadline day.

There have been suggestions of a fresh approach from West Ham in January should the United academy graduate not get the game time he wants, though Vlasic’s form will also play a role in that decision.

Jesse Lingard shone with nine goals and five assists in 16 appearances for West Ham last season (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The 28-year-old wants assurances over game time at his boyhood club, concerned that a lack of opportunities and playing time will impact his place in the England squad ahead of the Qatar World Cup next year.

Asked about the challenge of Lingard keeping his place in the squad going forward, Three Lions manager, Gareth Southgate said: "We know Jesse has a challenge and he knows he has a big challenge with the quality of attacking players at United.

"But they’ve also got a lot of matches in different competitions so hopefully he can take that challenge on and he will take that challenge on.

"He has rebounded brilliantly in the last 12 months from a difficult period and he has shown that he has got quality."

The attacking midfielder is excited about the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, but his return will only further limit the opportunities to make it into Solskjaer's starting XI.

“We’re glad to have him [Ronaldo], the presence he brings,” Lingard said this week. “It’s going to be the signing of the season for us.

“It’s important [I get minutes at United], I’ve got to keep working hard, do well in training and impress the manager. It’s all I can do. And when I get the chance to play, play well.”

Lingard can speak to clubs abroad about a free transfer from January 1.

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