Lingard can bolster Man United’s central midfield ranks if they allow Fellaini to go

Marouane Fellaini will soon be a free agent with his Manchester United contract situation set to be resolved in the coming days, according to a report in the Independent. 

What’s the story, then?

The Independent report that the Belgian international has failed to agree a new deal at Old Trafford after United refused to offer him his demanded wages of over £125,000 per week.

They go on to say that Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is the top target to replace Fellaini in the engine room, with new signing Fred brought in to fill the gap left by retiring captain Michael Carrick.

Arsenal and AC Milan are named among the clubs reportedly interested in securing the services of Fellaini, who has failed to convince United fans of his worth since arriving in 2013.

Lingard can move inside to replace Fellaini

Jesse Lingard has floated around in positional terms since breaking into the United first team; he has played on both flanks and as a number 10.

However, at this summer’s World Cup, he has played as a number eight, bursting forward into attacking areas and scoring an absolute peach in the 6-1 drubbing of Panama.

Jesse Lingard's stats from England 6-1 Panama

Pep Guardiola has fielded traditional number 10s Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva in a deeper role across the city, and Lingard – valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt – is now a viable option in that role for Jose Mourinho at United.

That means that Fellaini need not be replaced by a big-money signing as Lingard can fill the role now, with his new-found maturity.