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Newcastle United have reportedly made Jesse Lingard their primary target for the January transfer window.
The Manchester United and England playmaker has struggled for game-time since returning to Old Trafford following an exceptional six-month loan spell at West Ham last season. That form in London earned him a recall to the England team in March of this year. He had previously been in the international wilderness since June 2019.
Newcastle have had a torrid time of it this year, despite ownership of the club changing hands. The new riches that the Magpies find themselves in possession of are yet to be felt, and with the club languishing in the relegation places, a transfer to the North East in January may be less appealing than the club would like. World stars - although now affordable - are unlikely to risk a move to a club when relegation to the Championship looms.
Ronaldo, Greenwood, Lingard, VDB and Jones on the bench today pic.twitter.com/j5pTHaZFLC
- United Mellman (@MellmanKeano) November 28, 2021
Goals have been hard to come by, but Lingard may be the ideal candidate. The club seem to think so. He has refused a contract renewal at United, meaning he can leave the club for free in the summer. That doesn't make business sense for United, who would at least be able to obtain a transfer fee for the sale of Lingard if they instead sold him to Newcastle this winter.
According to The Times, the Magpies would be willing to spend a "substantial transfer fee" on the 2018 World Cup semi-finalist, and wouldn't mind offering him a bigger wage than their current highest earner: £100,000-a-week Paraguay international Miguel Almiron. Anything above that would make Lingard the club's highest earner in history.
While a 1-0 win over Burnley provided Newcastle with their first league win of the season and took them off the foot of the Premier League table, they still have a long way to go. If Lingard did sign, he would instantly become one of the club's most significant players.
For Manchester United, he has been anything but for a number of years. While the England international has made eight league appearances and has scored important goals against former club West Ham and potential bidders Newcastle, he has not yet been trusted with a start in the league.
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