Rio Ferdinand urges Man Utd ace to quit club permanently despite Ed Woodward transfer plan

Jesse Lingard should leave Manchester United permanently in the summer and look to join West Ham on a full-time basis, reckons Rio Ferdinand. The England international has made a strong start to life at the London Stadium after joining the Londoners on loan in January.

Lingard scored twice on his debut in an away win over Aston Villa and also impressed again in the 3-0 win over Sheffield United, winning the penalty for Declan Rice to open the scoring from.

Victory over the Blades moved the Hammers into fifth, two points above Liverpool after 24 games and only behind Chelsea in the final Champions League spot on goal difference.

But while Lingard is benefiting from regular game time in the capital, having fallen out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford, Ferdinand thinks the attack-minded midfielder should move on permanently.

“What’s his ambition here, beyond this season, what is he [Lingard] looking to do?” Legendary former centre-back Ferdinand told BT Sport.

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“If West Ham don’t put a bid in to buy him at the end of this loan I think this loan has to be seen as a failure.

“That’s got to be his aim… to get a bid from West Ham and other clubs to take him out of Man United.

“Because I don’t see him going back to Man United and really affecting that squad now. I think they’ve moved past him with the players they’ve recruited, he doesn’t feature, hasn’t done for so long.”

Discussing his future this week, United academy graduate Lingard – who has 210 Red Devils appearances to his name which have yielded 33 goals and 20 assists – claimed he didn’t get a fair shot under Solskjaer.

He told BT Sport: “First and foremost I’m here to play, win and help the team, so hopefully I can do that and we’ll see where we’re at come the end of the season.

“It’s about playing with a smile on my face and enjoying my football and getting back to the old Jesse.

“During the lockdown, I recapped my best moments playing football – the season under Jose [Mourinho] where I scored all of those goals and went to the World Cup and the season when Ole came in and I started well.

“I started getting that fire in my belly and drive again to go and kick on because it would have been easy for me to fall off and take the easy option out, but a person like me who’s been through a lot and knows the game, I can’t just give it up like and I’ll always go out with a fight.

“I came back one of the strongest and fittest [in the Man Utd squad] after the lockdown and I didn’t get my chance that I was waiting on but the whole time I was there and not playing I was doing extra training and keeping on top of my fitness for when the time was right.

“So for me, it’s about working hard and staying dedicated and I went back to basics.”

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Despite Ferdinand’s comments, however, the Sunday People reported at the weekend that United would like to welcome homegrown Lingard back to their squad next season if he continues to play well at West Ham.

Juan Mata could depart United at the end of his contract in the summer and the 20-time English champions would be willing to welcome Lingard back into their first-team fold to take up the Spaniard’s role in the squad.

Solskjaer said of the player’s temporary switch to the east end of London: “We want Jesse to come back here revitalised and having shown at West Ham how good a player he is, of course.

“I just want him to go there and enjoy himself, show how good a player he is and come back. He a Man United player through and through.”

And the Sunday People say that United and Solskjaer have not written off Lingard and that the 28-year-old is still valued by the club given his experience.

The Red Devils expect cash to be tight in the summer transfer window and therefore keeping the player to serve as a back-up may make greater financial sense than selling him.

Lingard is however due to run out of contract in Manchester in 2022 and United would presumably have to either offer him a new deal or lose him for nothing at the end of next season.


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