Cape Town - According to reports, The Manchester United hierarchy want to reward Jesse Lingard with a new deal despite early criticism the midfielder has received at the start of the season.
The Manchester United and England man was jeered by some sections of the home crowd during the Red Devils’ 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend.
He was eventually replaced after 51 minutes by 17-year-old forward Mason Greenwood, with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer quick to defend Lingard’s insipid showing in the post-match press conference.
Lingard has not scored a Premier League goal since Solskjaer’s opening game as caretaker boss in December at Cardiff City, further raising questions whether he should now be an automatic starter.
United insiders, however, have insisted the club’s hierarchy are still desperate to secure the forward’s long-term future.
The Warrington-born academy graduate has two years left on his existing agreement and a new five-year, £150 000 per-week offer is already being prepared.
Lingard turns 27 this December and there is certainly no suggestion at this stage he is a re-evaluating his situation at United because of the extra scrutiny his patchy showings are bringing.
His dip in form has also been recognised at international level, with England boss Gareth Southgate only handing him two appearances this year while he enjoyed 14 outings for the Three Lions in 2018 - including playing in the successful World Cup campaign.
There is every reason to suggest that the former Derby County and Birmingham City loan man will continue at the Theatre of Dreams as, despite the emphasis now being on youth, he is still to reach the peak years of his career and has plenty of scope to return to his best form.
The one stumbling block might be a lack of game time as Solskjaer is likely to keep him on the bench as he builds for the future and tries to give the youngsters a lengthy run in the side.
That might turn his head in January or next summer, especially if a decent club came in with the promise of regular first-team action.
But it is all down to the player himself to knuckle down and start performing on the pitch as actions speak much louder than words.
Being jeered by your own fans never helps but he must rise above it to prove that he is more than capable of wearing the red of United.