Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has slammed the door on Sergio Aguero joining Manchester United.
Solskjaer believes that loyalty comes before everything in football – and insisted he has no interest in Aguero becoming the first Manchester City player in 25 years to move to Old Trafford by aiming a thinly-veiled attack on Treble team-mate Peter Schmeichel for joining the Blues.
Aguero, City’s record goalscorer, is available for free after confirming he will leave the Etihad when his contract expires in the summer – and he wants to stay in the Premier League.
But Solskjaer said: “When I played for Man United, if a rival club tried to sign me, and I had gone… well where’s the loyalty?
“Loyalty is one of the values I really, really put highly.
“I wouldn’t expect any player who has played for a club for 10 years to want to go to their local rivals.
“It’s not for me. I know we’re professionals, but when you play for Man United you don’t go to Man City.
“We’ve had examples of that – and I didn’t really agree with it.
“I won’t name names but you all know who I mean. Enough said.”
Aguero has scored eight derby goals in his decade with City – only Wayne Rooney, Francis Lee and Joe Hayes have scored more in the fixture’s 140-year history.
Carlos Tevez controversially moved from United to City in 2010 – and seven years earlier, there was anger at Old Trafford when Schmeichel joined the Blues.
The Dane left United after helping them win the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in 1999 and joined Sporting Lisbon claiming he could no longer handle the physicality of English football.
But moved to Aston Villa two years later and switched to City in 2002.
Within months, he helped the Blues win their first derby in 13 years with a 3-1 victory in which Solskjaer grabbed United’s consolation.
Tony Coton, now working as United’s goalkeeping scout, was the last player to move from blue to red when he became Schmeichel’s understudy following a £500,000 deal in January 1996.
Lingard, 28, has put himself in the frame for a place in Gareth Southgate’s Euros squad after winning his first caps for almost two years in last week’s World Cup qualifying triple header.
But Solskjaer kept his counsel about the midfielder’s long-term future when asked about his plans for next season.
Solskjaer has been impressed with the impact the 28-year-old has had at the London Stadium.
And he was keen to talk up those performances rather than confirm if Lingard still has a future at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer said: “You know, sometimes as a manager, you can think only about yourself and your own squad.
“The selfish thing would have been to keep Jesse, because he would have got the chance.
“He knows we made the decision to let him go and that was a personal decision he was going to benefit from and West Ham were going to benefit from.
“He deserved to play more towards the end of the season because there is a big Euros as well in the summer and we hope he is going to be part of it.
“I have always rated Jesse very highly. For different reasons it has not worked out for him in the last year or so.
“But he knows what I feel about him, both as a person and as a player, and the way he has handled things that people don’t really know about.
“I’ve tried to help him of course as well as I can, but to see how he’s handled it, has been an example for everyone to follow.
“He has kept his head down, focussed on his football and he gets his rewards with his performances.”
Solskjaer added: “Coming back for England, he got three caps and played really well.
“On a personal level, I am so happy for Jesse because you know how hard he has worked for this.
“And on a professional level, we know what he can do and of course he is a Man United player, he has been in the academy, he knows what we expect, the standard here, and he has definitely helped his own career in that way.”