Manchester United contract talks still ongoing, confirms Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard says his “heart is at Manchester United” as he continues to discuss an extension to his current contract.

The 24-year-old has had to be patient while waiting for his big break at Old Trafford.

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Several loan spells suggested that his future was destined to lie away from Manchester, but a breakthrough was finally made in 2015-16 under former boss Louis van Gaal.

Lingard is now a key figure for the Red Devils and a senior international with England.

He has shown a knack for scoring in big games, with two more Wembley efforts added to his tally this season in the Community Shield and EFL Cup final.

As a home-grown academy product, Lingard hopes there will be many more of those highs to come, with there a desire on his part to see fresh terms thrashed out.

“The contract is still ongoing with talks at the moment. I enjoy playing for Man United and my heart is at Man United,” he said while preparing for England’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

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“There's a lot of competition for places but I think that’s good for the group. It’s always good to have great players around you.

“You have to battle for your place and it makes you more hungry on the training pitch and you know when you get your chance, you have to take it.

“The likes of [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], [Paul] Pogba, big names in our team, it always good to look up to them and see what they have achieved and obviously we gain that experience off them and learn off them, especially the young players.

“It’s always good to have that hunger to try to break into that team.”

Jesse Lingard Manchester United Middlesbrough

Lingard has also sought to play down any suggestion that he does not take his football seriously, with training ground jokes and elaborate goal celebrations merely bringing a fun factor to his game.

He added: "I think fun plays a massive part in anyone's life.

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“I'm the type of guy that's always having a joke, messing around, but when it comes to the serious stuff, you know, your head's on the game.

"You train hard all week and obviously in your downtime you can relax with your friends and have fun. Nowadays the papers do pick up on it quick, and you can be quick to be judged, but you can't really judge anyone unless you speak to them face to face or you meet them in real life.''

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