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Manchester United have activated the one-year extension clause in Jesse Lingard’s contract, blocking the England international at the club until the summer of 2022.
Lingard has made just two appearances all season for United, both in the EFL Cup, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team has evolved without the need for an offensive midfielder.
Lingard has been eager to start a new chapter after losing his place in the United team. After speaking to various clubs in Europe last summer, nothing concrete materialized, despite interest from Real Sociedad.
The 28-year-old has had his contract extended, Sky sports confirmed Thursday, to make sure he doesn’t leave United for free at the end of June 2021, and allows United to sell the academy graduate for a fee if they reach a deal in the next transfer windows.
Having not yet selected him for a Premier League or Champions League match this season, Solskjaer recently revealed that the United attacker had been forced to isolate himself on several different occasions due to close contact with people who had contracted coronavirus.
“He has been unlucky enough to have to isolate himself a few times, have been in contact or be in close contact with Covid, not even himself,” Solskjaer said. “He’s been very unlucky to be away from training camp a few times. He works really hard.”
At United since the age of seven, Lingard has scored some important goals over the years, but never managed to reach the heights his career once promised to produce.
In 2017/18 he recorded his best goalscoring year with United, leading 13 in all competitions. However, with the arrival of the elegant Bruno Fernandes and others, there have been few opportunities for the 24-time England international to regain his place in the starting eleven.