Jesse Lingard
Lingard rejected Liverpool deal when he was younger.Reuters

Manchester United youngster Jesse Lingard had the opportunity to turn down the Red Devils in favour of a move to Liverpool – but believes he made the correct choice in turning down his club's fierce rivals.

After outgrowing the club's under-21 ranks and excelling during his loan spell with Birmingham City earlier in the season, 21-year-old Lingard was sent to Brighton until the end of the campaign to help the Seagulls in their promotion bid.

The England Under-21 international has been tipped to make the step up to United's first team next season but has revealed he could have headed down a very different route had he opted for a move to Merseyside.

"I was travelling up and down the motorway, training with both Liverpool and United, and when I got to nine I had to make a decision," Lingard told Brighton's official website.

"In my last sessions at Liverpool I was not really enjoying it and I got on well with the coaches at United and had a lot of friends there, so my choice was made and it's paid off so far."

Lingard excelled for David Moyes' side in pre-season tours before his spell at St Andrews, where he marked his arrival with a memorable four-goal performance on his debut.

Upon his return to Old Trafford he was deemed too good for the club's under-21 ranks and was allowed to join Brighton on another loan deal until the end of the season.

Although Lingard has previously taken up positions through the middle and out wide, Brighton manager Oscar Garcia indicated he will use the United graduate in a more advanced role at the forefront of his attack.

"He is one of the most exciting young English strikers and has already created a lot of interest following his successful loan spell at Birmingham," Garcia said upon Lingard's arrival.

"We worked hard to secure a talent who has already shown he can play at Championship level and I am very pleased to have added Jesse to our striking options for the rest of the season."