The 28-year-old’s deal was due to expire at the end of the season, but the activation of a further 12 months ensures he won’t leave on a free transfer
Manchester United have triggered the one-year extension option on Jesse Lingard’s contract, theoretically ensuring that the midfielder could remain at Old Trafford until the summer of 2022.
The England international’s current deal was poised to expire in the summer, at which point the 28-year-old was expected to seek new opportunities elsewhere after falling out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.
Lingard has only played 99 minutes of football across two Carabao Cup games this season – with a single start against Luton Town – and has struggled to even get onto the bench for the vast majority of Premier League matches.
Yet, following now-typical procedure at the club, United have activated his contract clause to extend his current deal in order to prevent the possibility of losing him on a free transfer.
It is understood that a potential January loan deal is being explored in order for Lingard to pick up more minutes this season and that any extension would have little to no bearing on his long-term future with United.
“Jesse is a part of the club and he’s worked really hard,” Solskjaer previously said in July when questioned on the playmaker’s position within the Norwegian’s plans.
“He deserves his chance to come back in and we know his qualities. We know that Jesse’s got different qualities to other players and he knows that we value him.”
Lingard most recently made United’s squad for their 2-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Everton earlier this month, though he failed to feature off the bench again, further stretching a near-three month on-field exodus.
If the right deal can be agreed, it remains possible that he could leave next month on a short-term move further afield, with Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo also anticipated to be outgoing faces in a relatively quiet window.
The teenage winger remained in Italy for the first half of the current campaign but is expected to finalise his switch in the coming weeks, a month after making his Champions League debut against Midtjylland.