Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals he's still hopeful that under-fire Jesse Lingard WILL sign a new deal - and backs Edinson Cavani to have a 'big impact' this season after he finally returns to training next week
Jesse Lingard has triggered a surge of interest from top clubs in the Premier League and Europe since rejecting a new contract at Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Thursday that United are still hopeful of keeping Lingard at Old Trafford beyond the end of his current deal in June despite the England international turning down the club’s offer last week.
It is understood that 28-year-old Lingard is open to staying at United — he joined the club at the age of seven — but wants to be sure that he will play enough games.
Man United fixtures
Premier League unless stated
Sunday West Ham (A)
September 22 West Ham (H)
Carabao Cup third round
September 25 Aston Villa (H)
September 29 Villarreal (H)
October 2 Everton (H)
October 16 Leicester City (A)
He did not make a single Premier League appearance for United last season before moving to West Ham for a highly-successful loan spell that brought nine goals in 16 games, and April’s award for Premier League player of the month.
He is aware that his next move will be the biggest of his career, whether he decides to extend his stay at United or seek a new challenge elsewhere.
There has been no shortage of interest at home and abroad after Lingard’s camp turned down United’s offer, and the next couple of months are seen as crucial.
Solskjaer’s side face West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday and again in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Lingard will return to the London Stadium this weekend having regained his England place and scored three goals in five games for club and country this season. However, he faces stiff competition for a place at Old Trafford after United spent £92.8million this summer on Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho to strengthen a forward line that includes Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Lingard had a setback in Bern on Tuesday night when his stray back-pass led to a late goal as United lost 2-1 to Young Boys, but Solskjaer is in no doubt that he wants to keep the player.
‘He’s got one year left on his contract and the club is talking to him and his dad,’ said the United boss.
‘We see him as a United player in the future as well. Jesse has come back to us after a great spell at West Ham. He showed his qualities and got back into the England squad.
‘We really want to see the best of him this season. We support him and we hope to keep him here with us — he’s a Red through and through.’
Solskjaer confirmed that Cavani will return to training next week after missing the trip to Switzerland through injury.
The Uruguay star, who was caught up in the club versus country row over Covid quarantine before the international break, has played less than half an hour this season.
He also gave up his No 7 to Ronaldo but Solskjaer said: ‘I see Edinson having a massive impact. He can’t wait to play and he’s working really hard to get back on the pitch.’