Jesse Lingard is waiting to discover if Manchester United’s board will sanction a loan move after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reluctantly agreed to the England midfielder’s request for a transfer before the close of the window at the start of next month.
Solskjaer has been eager to keep Lingard given his belief a large squad will be critical to United’s chances of silverware this season, particularly as squad numbers are at risk of being depleted by the threat of coronavirus outbreaks.
But with Lingard keen for more regular first-team football at this crucial juncture of his career, the United manager is now thought to be willing to green light a move after talks with the 28 year-old, who was omitted from the 20-man squad for Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Liverpool.
A final decision now rests with United’s board as Lingard waits for an answer amid considerable interest from a number of Premier League clubs in the player.
West Ham United, Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United, among others, are all thought to be interested in a loan deal.
There is also interest from overseas but Lingard would prefer to stay in England and be closer to his family and young daughter, Hope.
Gareth Southgate, the England manager, is among those who are said to have provided references for Lingard, who played an integral role in his country’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018.
Lingard’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since then and he is desperate to kick-start his career after a difficult past 18 months and a season spent on the fringes.
Lingard has made just three appearances for United this season and was left out of the game against Liverpool on Sunday in the latest indication of where he stands in the pecking order at the club.
"Jesse trained this morning, he wasn’t in the squad, of course he wants to play football. We’ll have to see," Solskjaer said when asked about Lingard's future after the Liverpool game. "I will sit with Jesse and make a decision on what we are going to do. So far he’s always been the ultimate professional, he always trains, he trained well this morning with a small group who were not in the squad. So I will sit down and speak with him again and see if anything comes up. I’m happy to have Jesse in and around us because I know he could have come in today and done well."