Suspicions Manchester United are adding a survival tax to Lingard’s price out of fear of what Newcastle could become

It is Groundhog Day for Jesse Lingard.

Last January, he was pushing Manchester United to let him leave on loan, looking to rejuvenate his career and get games ahead of a major tournament for England. United, meanwhile, were demanding a significant loan fee.

A year on, the circumstances are the same — except United have placed an even bigger price on Lingard’s head.

They will do business with Newcastle United over Lingard, but want enormous reimbursement in exchange for doing so. There is a loan fee of £2.5 million, plus coverage of wages, then, crucially, a bonus in the event of third-bottom Newcastle staying up this season — taking the total package north of £15 million.

For a player they stand to lose for nothing in five months when his contract expires, the figures are eye-watering.

In one sense, Manchester United are merely trying to maximise a financial opportunity.

They have often been the punchbag in the transfer market but here is a situation in their favour, because the club on the other side of the negotiating table are desperately attempting to avoid relegation and have the vast resources of their new owners to strengthen their squad. Survival will be worth £100 million at least and Manchester United feel if Newcastle retain their Premier League status with Lingard at the fore, a slice of that money ought to find its way to Old Trafford.

Sources have suggested there is another angle at play, however.


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