Peter Lawwell can repeat Celtic’s success from signing Scott Sinclair by acquiring rumoured target Jesse Lingard from Manchester United.
According to TEAMtalk, the Hoops hierarchy are measuring up their chances of bringing Lingard to Parkhead as his Old Trafford future hangs in the balance.
Lingard is ready to quit the Red Devils in January unless the Premier League powerhouse opt to active their one-year extension clause, with his £75,000-per-week contract otherwise due to expire at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old has plummeted down the pecking order at Old Trafford this year with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer awarding Lingard just two appearances across all competitions, with each coming in the EFL Cup in September while omitted from eight of 10 Premier League matchday squads.
Several Premier League, German, Spanish and Italian sides would be interested in offering the 24-cap England international a chance to revive his career outside of Manchester, who may also be offered a future in Glasgow with Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers both keen.
Lingard will happily remain at Old Trafford should United opt to active their one-year extension clause, feeling he can still fight for his place under Solskjaer, but wishes to have his future decided by the New Year.
The Red Devils, themselves, are weighing up the benefits of retaining Lingard, who has won the FA Cup, Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield, as the extra year on his deal would protect his market value after demanding £20million this summer.
Lawwell striking an agreement with Manchester United for Lingard to move north of the border could see the Celtic CEO complete a swoop with shades of the Hoops’ £3million deal for Sinclair in 2016.
Sinclair had fallen down the Aston Villa pecking order in what proved to be his final season in Birmingham, with the Bath-born winger starting just 19 of his 27 Premier League appearances.
Reuniting with Brendan Rodgers at Parkhead proved a masterstroke for Celtic as he settled in straight away with 25 goals and 13 assists across all competitions during his maiden campaign.
The 31-year-old left Lennoxtown this January after 167 appearances in green and white and with three Premiership titles in his trophy cabinet, while twice being named as Celtic’s Player of the Year and as the PFA Scotland’s Player of the Year for 2016/17.
Lingard would no doubt be in the running for the gong if the £12.6m-rated midfielder arrived in Glasgow and helped Celtic overturn their deficit to Premiership leaders Rangers, while dealing the added blow of being one of Steven Gerrard’s winter targets.
His outcast status at Old Trafford should not be considered a detrimental factor in discussions at Parkhead over the benefits of a swoop, as Lingard is a player who Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand widely lauds for all the right reasons.
“This is a kid who I’ve seen grow up through the ranks at Man United,” Ferdinand said, via quotes by the Express. “His movement is phenomenal, his touch, his awareness of players around him and he gets important goals. I think that his relationship with the other players in the attacking-third is key to this team and he’s someone who I just love watching play.”