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'Jesse is still a big part of this squad' - Solskjaer responds to Lingard contract speculation

18:59 GMT+4 19/11/2021
Jesse Lingard Manchester United 2021-22
The England international midfielder is seeing a January move mooted, with the Red Devils having some big decisions to make in 2022

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shrugged off the transfer talk surrounding Jesse Lingard at Manchester United by claiming the England international remains a “big part” of his squad.

The 28-year-old home-grown midfielder is seeing another January move mooted having rediscovered his spark on the back of a winter switch in early 2021 on loan to West Ham.

Speculation is intensifying again ahead another window with Lingard’s contract running down, but his manager has no plans to sanction a sale.

What has been said?

Quizzed on Lingard’s future ahead of the Premier League trip to Watford on Saturday, Solskjaer said: “Jesse is training really hard, really well and he’s ready and available for me. He is disappointed he has not played more.

“With contract situations and contract talks, I’ve not been in them very closely so for me Jesse is still a big part of this squad, and he gives energy and quality to the group every day.”

Pressed on whether frustration on Lingard’s part would be understandable given he has played just 63 minutes of top-flight football this season, the Red Devils boss said: “Every player wants to play as much as possible.

“The thing with Jesse and all my players is they are all working really hard and I can’t fault the attitude and they’re ready when they’re called upon and when they’re playing.

“Jesse has done well when he’s played for us and he knows that with all the games that are coming up that he will play a part.”

What about Solskjaer's own future?

Lingard is not the only one to be generating exit talk at Old Trafford, with similar rumours around the manager.

Solskjaer has seen uncomfortable questions asked of his presence with United suffering humbling defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City in the weeks leading up to the latest international break.

They find themselves sixth in the Premier League table, nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea, but the Norwegian coach claims to have no concerns regarding his ability.

Solskjaer said: “The players, the staff, myself and the club we all working towards one goal and that’s to improve and to get better results.

“Fans are still supporting the team and the club, they’ve been through this period and they’ve backed the team through the rebuild.

“When you lose a game you’re always disappointed and under pressure and we’ve been communicating well and openly and honestly as we always do and there’s one game that matters but it’s also what goes on after that.

“We’re all refreshed, this week has been really good in training and we’re ready for tomorrow.”

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