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Barcelona and AC Milan line up bids for Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard

Barcelona and AC Milan will go head-to-head for Jesse Lingard if he leaves Manchester United on a free transfer next summer, per the Daily Mail.

The 28-year-old winger has less than a year left to run on his current contract at Old Trafford.

Despite enjoying a stellar six-month loan spell at West Ham United in the second half of last season, the England international is near the bottom of the pecking order at United.

Lingard has been handed more minutes by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate than his Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

Although he has amassed just 45 minutes of Premier League this term, he has scored twice, including a late winner against West Ham in mid-September.

The Old Trafford powerbrokers are keen to extend Lingard’s contract, but a lack of first-team opportunities under Solskjaer has deterred the player from committing to new terms.

Lingard has already made it clear he wants to make England’s squad for next year’s World Cup finals and, with his chances at United at a premium, a potential winter exit is on the cards.

Barcelona and Milan have set their sights on the English forward, who can negotiate personal terms with foreign clubs from January 1.

Both clubs are facing financial turmoil, meaning an opportunity to sign a high-quality player like Lingard on a free transfer is something they are not ready to pass on.

Unless the Red Devils convince their out-of-favour star to pledge his future to the club, Lingard could be on his way out in January.

As reported by eyefootball, United could sanction Lingard’s departure for approximately £15 million when the transfer window reopens at the start of 2022.

If Lingard cuts short his two-decade association with United to join either Barcelona or Milan, it will be the first time he has ventured outside English football.

Read: Marcus Rashford provides fresh update on his recovery post shoulder surgery.

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