Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is believed to have parted company with super-agent Mino Raiola and will instead be represented by family and ‘close associates’ moving forward.
Lingard only aligned himself with Raiola in January 2020 and it was thought that the relationship might ultimately pave the way for the homegrown player to leave Old Trafford during the summer.
90min revealed at the time that Lingard’s decision to work with Raiola was initially triggered when he learned United were considering offering him to Leicester in part-exchange for James Maddison.
No offer was ever made for Maddison, but Lingard found out and became upset at the situation. He confided in close friend Paul Pogba, who spoke to Raiola and put the two in contact.
But ESPN has now revealed that that working relationship has come to an end. It is said that the decision was mutual and that Lingard and Raiola remain on good terms. Instead, the 27-year-old will not have a typical ‘agent’ and will surround himself with close family and friends.
Raiola has a reputation as a transfer fixer, but despite Lingard falling out of favour under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he was still keen to stay at the club.
There was talk of interest from Tottenham, which would have meant a reunion with ex-boss Jose Mourinho, or a proposed move to Serie A, a market Raiola knows very well, during summer. Yet neither Lingard nor United were ever in a position where a transfer was going to be forced.
United never planned to push Lingard towards the door if he didn’t want to go and that’s how the situation remained as the transfer window drew to a close last month.
The most likely next step in Lingard’s future is a triggering of the one-year extension in his contract that is currently due to expire at the end of this season. He will then be under contract until 2022, giving the player more time to fight his way back into contention and prove his worth, while additionally protecting his value and ensuring United can command a transfer fee.
Lingard has been battling to overcome fitness trouble for most of this season. He has had just 99 minutes of action, all in the Carabao Cup, and hasn’t been in a matchday squad at all since he was an unused substitute for the 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham in early October.