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Man Utd’s Jesse Lingard eyed by Barcelona, AC Milan

Jesse Lingard is wanted by Barcelona and AC Milan as he gets closer to the end of his contract at Manchester United, sources have told ESPN.

Lingard has entered the final year of his deal at Old Trafford and will be able to negotiate with clubs outside England from Jan. 1 ahead of a potential free transfer next summer.

Barcelona and Milan are among a host of clubs monitoring the situation and Lingard is open to moving to either Spain or Italy as he plots the next step in his career.

The chance to sign an experienced England international on a free transfer during a time when finances have been restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic has made Lingard an attractive prospect for a number of Europe’s top clubs.

Lingard has already rejected a contract offer from United over concerns he may not get enough opportunities to keep his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad as the 2022 World Cup approaches.

United are yet to return with a fresh proposal.

The promise of regular first-team football will play a major role in any decision Lingard makes about his future with the 28-year-old determined to be part of England’s squad in Qatar. He was named in Southgate’s latest squad and played 73 minutes in the 5-0 victory over Andorra on Saturday.

Lingard has scored two Premier League goals this season — including the dramatic late winner at West Ham United in September — despite being restricted to just 45 minutes of football in three appearances as a substitute. He also came off the bench to set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s vital goal to clinch a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in the Champions League.

His good form has continued following a blistering loan spell at West Ham last season during which he scored nine goals in 16 matches and was named the Premier League player of the month for April.

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