Newcastle United’s move for Jesse Lingard is on the brink of collapse after Manchester United demanded a loan deal of almost £16 million, which includes a significant clause on whether the St James’ Park side avoid relegation from the Premier League this season.
The situation is understood to have left Lingard dismayed as the 29-year-old is desperate for game time that he believes could help him force his way into Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad by the end of the year.
Lingard is said to feel let down by his boyhood club and believes he should be due more respect given the fact he has been at United for 21 years. The Old Trafford hierarchy, for their part, would argue they are fully aware of the midfielder’s value.
United do not want to let Lingard go to West Ham or Tottenham Hotspur - with both having made offers - as they are seen as rivals for top four, and know the effect he can have at the bottom.
Such was his impact at West Ham last season, with the player hitting nine goals in 16 games, there is a confidence he is good enough to keep Newcastle up. The club feel that is worth a significant bonus, due to the huge rewards of staying in the Premier League.
Newcastle have been quoted £2.5m to cover Lingard’s wages and a bonus of £12m if they survive and while there is a reluctance at St James’ Park to pay that, to the point the deal could collapse, Old Trafford sources argue that £12m could actually end up being worth over £100m if they retain their Premier League status - not to mention the acceleration of the project at St James' Park.
There is an insistence the deal can still be revived before the window closes, however, but it is looking difficult.
Lingard is assessing his options and there is more tentative interest elsewhere in the Premier League. Sources close to the player stress he has been consistent in his desire to leave Old Trafford in order to play, going back before this window, with this re-asserted in a recent discussion with interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The midfielder played just 28 Premier League minutes across three substitute appearances under the German and Rangnick is happy to let Lingard go.
Other figures at the club are more mindful of the situation, with one executive calling him to ask “where’s your head at”. This further irritated the player, though, as he believes he has made it clear he would be in a better place if he was playing elsewhere.
Lingard feels frustrated that he has previously been given assurances that he would get more game-time, especially under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, only for the club to then sign players in his position.
Unless other clubs come in, his future may depend on one simple question that has been uttered in talks around a deal: how much staying up is actually worth to Newcastle.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies