Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dashed Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of signing Jesse Lingard in the summer after confirming that the midfielder still has a role to play with his current employers.
The England international left the Red Devils to join West Ham United on a six-month loan during the January transfer window after finding regular game time hard to come by at Old Trafford in the first-half of the campaign.
Lingard has been a revelation with the Hammers going from relative obscurity with United to being the most talked about player in the Premier League. The attacking midfielder has been in fine form netting eight goals and assisting four in his nine appearances for the west London club.
The 28-year-old's form has attracted interest from across Europe, especially from London-based rivals Arsenal and Spurs. Mikel Arteta and Jose Mourinho are both keen admirers of Lingard and are said to be interested in working with him if he decides to seek new pastures away from Manchester.
However, Lingard whose value has shot up to a reported £40 million after his recent heroics, is now a wanted man at the Old Trafford club. Solskjaer made it clear that he still has a future with his boyhood club once he returns from his loan spell with West Ham.
"Jesse's a fantastic lad around the place, Man United through and through, never once did he moan or cause me a problem (during a lack of playing time), just came in and worked really hard," Solskjaer said Wednesday, as quoted on Manchester Evening News.
"And he deserved a chance to play more football, that's why we let him go to West Ham, he deserved a chance for what he's done throughout his life for Man United.
"Of course we'll welcome him back. I hope he goes to the Euros because with his performances now and the confidence he's got, I don't think that's beyond him. And I hope he has a strong finish to the league," he added.
"It was different here, because Bruno, the form he's played in arguably Jesse's favourite position, and that was the decision we made. Delighted for Jesse and wish him well for the rest of the season until he comes back."
The final decision, however, could lie with the midfielder, who will have just one year left on his existing deal with United in June. If they cannot convince him to sign a new deal this summer, there is a possibility that the club will want to cash in when his value is at its highest.