Jesse Lingard is “in a rut” at Manchester United and appears to be looking for a way out, says Paul Parker, with Serie A giants Inter considered a good fit for a player slipping down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young have taken a similar career path in recent times, with life at the Theatre of Dreams traded for that in Italy at San Siro.
It may be that Lingard is given the opportunity to follow in their footsteps, with the England international’s decision to appoint Mino Raiola as his agent viewed by many as a sign that he is mulling over a move.
Fierce competition for places in the United squad is likely to intensify the search for a new club, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes now pulling the strings for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Parker believes a change of scenery may be required for a 27-year-old who is starting to lose his way, but a player who has struggled for consistency throughout his career has been warned that he will struggle to find “a top European club who wants him”.
“One player who may be moving on is Jesse Lingard,” former United defender Parker told Eurosport.
“He is on the periphery now. Once he was delivering for club and country, and he became big news - a local boy who took his opportunity.
“But now when he gets his chances he can’t stand out and lead a group of young players, and nor do senior colleagues help him raise his game. He’s in a rut.
“When the team are playing well, that will be killing him. If you’re in his position, you don’t want the team to do well because then you can get another chance.
“For now Mason Greenwood, [Marcus] Rashford and [Bruno] Fernandes are doing their jobs. They’ve done what United needed Lingard to do, but he has to get close to Fernandes’ level before he can demand another chance.
“Now he’s signed up with Mino Raiola he’s probably looking to get abroad.
“He’s unlikely to find a top European club who wants him, but everyone is looking for cheap players right now.
“He could go to Italy to re-establish himself, perhaps at Inter Milan. But he has to ask, is he moving to spark his career or simply to embellish his CV?”
Lingard’s current contract with United is due to run until 2021, with the option for a 12-month extension, so the Red Devils may open themselves up to offers in the next window and sever ties with a player who has recorded 31 goals for them across 202 appearances.