Newcastle United and West Ham United will face increased competition in their battle sign former Manchester United star Jesse Lingard.
The 29-year-old’s future has been the subject of intense speculation ever since his 20-year stay with the 13-time Premier League champions came to an end last month.
Lingard has reportedly received expressions of interest from a number of clubs around Europe and MLS side DC United were latest to be linked with a move for his services earlier this week.
However, The Athletic have now reported Lingard will not be moving Stateside but is now ‘considering’ a move to Saudi Arabia, where he could earn up to £10million-per-year.
The attacking midfielder is said to prefer staying in the Premier League, despite the lure of earning a significantly increased salary to the one he earned during his time at Old Trafford.
Newcastle and West Ham were both heavily linked with a move for Lingard during the January transfer window but both clubs were rebuffed by Manchester United.
Former Magpies defender Stuart Pearce recently discussed Lingard’s current situation and admitted he was disappointed to see the midfielder without a club ahead of the new Premier League season.
He told talkSPORT: “If I was in Jesse’s position, or any player in his position, he hasn’t played a lot for Manchester United and was out of contract, I would want my next contract with a new club signed and sorted before I become a free agent.
“Then you can walk into your new football club on day one of pre-season, not wait and enjoy the summer and pick up somewhere further down the line – you’ve missed pre-season by that point.
“That’s the thing that disappoints me, when I see good players sat on the bench and not playing football.
“When I look at Jesse’s last year… I come from a generation when you wanted to play every week, you’re hell bent on it and you didn’t want to miss games, whatever it took.”