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Juventus join Jesse Lingard battle as prospect of double free Man Utd raid emerges as one of five options

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Jesse Lingard warming up in the rain for Manchester United

Juventus appear to have joined the race for Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard, who now has three options to choose from in Italy, according to a report.

Lingard is approaching the end of his contract with Manchester United. After playing opportunities proved to be limited at Old Trafford, it seems likely he will walk away.

Indeed, a recent report from the Daily Mirror named Lingard as one of six players who will be leaving Manchester United without a transfer fee.

Now, the same source has shed more light on where the attacking midfielder might end up. According to their website, three Serie A clubs are competing for Lingard’s signature.

The suitors in question are Juventus, AC Milan and AS Roma. A report last month confirmed Lingard had been offered to the latter pairing, but the link with Juventus appears to be fresher.

The Turin-based outfit are aiming to take Paul Pogba back from Man Utd on a free transfer this summer. Perhaps they could make a similar move for Lingard.

However, his preference may be to choose Roma instead. Their interest stems from his previous relationship with ex-Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho is now overseeing a rebuilding project in the Italian capital. Roma are preparing for a busy summer ahead of his second season in charge, when he will hope to have a stronger squad.

Lingard gave Mourinho a lot of credit for how he developed him earlier in his career. What’s more, he remains in touch with former teammate Chris Smalling, who has revived his career since switching Manchester for Rome.

The same has gone for England colleague Tammy Abraham, whose former Chelsea teammate Fikayo Tomori has done likewise with Milan. Currently leading Serie A, Milan could also be an inviting option.

The Rossoneri want to sign a winger in the summer, which could turn out to be a gift of thanks to head coach Stefano Pioli if he leads them to the title. Lingard – who is also still in contact with Zlatan Ibrahimovic – might be their man.

Lingard still has two Premier League suitors

However, there could yet be a chance for the 29-year-old to remain in the Premier League. The report reminds that he is of interest to West Ham and Newcastle.

West Ham previously enjoyed having Lingard’s services on loan for the second half of last season. He scored nine goals in a productive 16 appearances that put him back in England contention.

His place with the national team is now at risk ahead of the 2022 World Cup though, due to his lack of activity at club level. Since returning to Man Utd, he has only managed two goals from 19 appearances (of which just three have been starts).

Therefore, a fresh start ahead of the winter tournament could be what he needs. He will now have to choose between the Italian or English routes.

It may come down to the financial aspects of what could be his last big contract. The report claims he is seeking a figure in the region of £150,000 per week, plus a signing-on fee.

Newcastle may be the best placed to pay that after their Saudi-backed takeover last year. But there will be other factors to take into consideration.

For example, all three of his Italian admirers will likely have European football on offer next season. In the cases of Juventus and Milan, that should of Champions League level too.

Roma and West Ham, meanwhile, will have ambitions to finish in the Europa League places of their respective divisions.

Only time will tell which option Lingard goes for.

READ MORE: Rio Ferdinand provides brutally honest answer in worrying claim over Marcus Rashford form

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Premier League  Gives Reason Why Jordan Ayew Was Not Sent Off Against Everton

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Jordan Ayew’s tackle on Anthony Gordon during Everton’s game against Crystal Palace was described as “reckless”, but was not believed to have warranted a red card through VAR.

The Blues found themselves 2-0 down at the break thanks to a header from Jean-Philippe Mateta and a strike from Ayew himself, just a couple of minutes after a hugely contentious challenge.

Right in front of the two dugouts, the Palace forward scythed down his opponent in what looked like a scissor motion.

Everton’s players were incensed and instantly surrounded referee Anthony Taylor. However, the official quickly had a yellow card in his hand and cautioned the Palace man.

The ECHO understands the decision was assessed by VAR Mike Dean, but it was decided that it did not meet the threshold for a red card. It was described as “reckless” which is classed as a yellow card offence.

This adds to a host of decisions that Everton have felt aggrieved by over the course of the season, including most recently a decision to not award Richarlison a penalty against Brentford shortly before Jarrad Branthwaite was handed a red card.

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Billy Sharp Headbutt Gets Nottingham Forest Fan Arrested

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A Nottingham Forest fan who headbutted Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp during a pitch invasion has been jailed for 24 weeks and been handed a 10-year football banning order, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Thursday.

Robert Biggs, 30, invaded the pitch after Forest won their Championship playoff semifinal against United and made a beeline for Sharp, who was standing by the touchline before he was knocked to the ground.

A 10-year football banning order is maximum length available to the courts.

The CPS authorised charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Biggs pleaded guilty.

“This was an extremely serious and unprovoked assault with a professional footballer standing at the side of the pitch left requiring stitches,” Marianne Connally from the CPS said.

Billy Sharp: Fan arrested after 'headbutt assault' leaves Sheffield United  captain needing stitches

“Biggs has soured what should have been an incredible moment for the club and its fans. As a result of his actions, he won’t be able to enjoy seeing his club compete in the Premier League should Forest win the Championship playoff final.”

Sharp, who spent a season on loan at Forest, said he would not let one “scumbag” ruin his respect for the club’s fans.

“One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football,” Sharp wrote on Twitter.

Forest beat United on penalties to set up a Championship playoff final against Huddersfield Town at Wembley Stadium on May 29.

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