Acccording to ESPN, Atletico Madrid could dip back into the English transfer market this summer as they currently lead the race to bring Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard to the Spanish capital.
The report states that they will have Italian side Roma for company and the pair will battle it out for the signature of the struggling Englishman should he be allowed to leave Old Trafford this summer.
For Atletico, the move would come a year after they took out-of-favour right-back Kieran Trippier from Tottenham – a move that has, so far, worked out pretty well for all involved, although he has recently picked up a severe injury.
Lingard does not want to leave Manchester United but will be “open to a move” if it helps him rediscover his poor form.
This season, Lingard has managed just two goals and one assist in all competitions for Manchester United. However, he is yet to register any goals or assists in the Premier League.
Lingard has 18 months remaining on his current deal at United and has an option of an extra year – but isn’t totally against the idea of shipping out.
Now that Bruno Fernandes has arrived at the club, you’d think playing time will become even more limited for Lingard – therefore his best option could very well be to think about moving on from Old Trafford.
Both Kieran Trippier and Chris Smalling – who are currently representing Atletico Madrid and Roma respectively – have both found joy overseas this season. As a result of that, Lingard may decide his best option is to follow suit.
As for Atletico, you struggle to see how Lingard would fit into that team. The likes of Joao Felix, Angel Correa, Thomas Lemar etc are all likely to be chosen ahead of him in his favoured roles.
Atletico Madrid have struggled a fair bit this season, and currently sit sixth in La Liga – well below where they’re used to being positioned. Lingard would give them something different in attack, and could fit well in a very technical league.
For me, it can only be a good thing for Lingard to move himself out of the Premier League. He has become something of a joke player to many fans as they rip on him for his use of social media and the ways in which he chooses to enjoy himself.
Spending some time in Italy or Spain, outside the critical eye of the British media and the English fans, could be perfect for him. He will have to keep his head down and work hard though – if he thinks the English media are tough, wait until he has a bad game and reads Marca.