Chelsea and Arsenal are both reportedly keen on signing Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard, with his contract expiring next summer.
The 24-year-old hasn’t always been a regular under Jose Mourinho this season, but has still managed to score four goals and provide three assists in 25 appearances in all competitions, scoring key goals in the EFL Cup final and Community Shield.
However, that doesn’t seem to have been enough to force United to speed up contract talks, as reported by The Sun, with the England international still waiting on a new deal despite having 15 months remaining on his current agreement.
It’s claimed that Antonio Conte regards Lingard as a huge asset as he believes he can play in multiple positions in his preferred 3-4-3 system, and the Premier League leaders could now step up their interest and test Mourinho’s resolve.
While it remains to be seen whether or not United would be willing to sell to a direct rival, Chelsea will reportedly face competition from Arsenal for Lingard’s signature which sets up a fascinating transfer battle between the two London rivals.
From the player’s perspective, given that he’s come through the youth ranks at Old Trafford and has built a special relationship with the current squad, he’s likely to be desperate to stay.
However, his hand might be forced if United aren’t keen to start contract talks soon, as Chelsea and Arsenal seem ready to pounce if he is available for transfer this summer with Lingard likely to be a valuable addition to their respective squads to add quality and depth.