Jesse Lingard may push to quit Manchester United after his outstanding loan spell at West Ham, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Premier League manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 28-year-old had been playing with new-found freedom in east London.
Sky Sports report the Irons will do everything possible to turn Lingard’s loan permanent this summer.
The attacking midfielder has already netted six goals and chipped in with four assists in eight appearances for the Hammers.
Gary Neville suggested Manchester United might want to bring Lingard back into their own squad after his dazzling displays at West Ham.
However, McLeish suggested the 27-cap international might feel differently about his future.
“Manchester United could take the credit and say we had to do that to get him going again,” McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“He’s their player but Jesse himself may have a different feeling. It might be: ‘I really feel United had too much of a hold on me.’
“I don’t mean the people there, I just mean the actual club and the expectancy levels on the club.
“It was strange, it’s almost like the kid has had the shackles taken off. I really don’t know.
“I had Man United fans text me and saying: ‘Lingard’s never going to score again, he’s done nothing.'”
Lingard made just three appearances for Manchester United during the first half of the season, all of which were in the domestic cups.
His last league start for the Red Devils came back on New Year’s Day in 2020.