Ex-Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard opens door to Saudi Arabia move

Former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard reveals that he is open to joining the Saudi Pro League following his release from Nottingham Forest.

Former Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is reportedly open to completing a move to the Saudi Pro League.

Lingard is currently searching for a new club after being released by Nottingham Forest at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

Following his departure from Man United, the former England international joined Forest on a free transfer last summer, signing a one-year contract with Steve Cooper‘s side.

After featuring in 14 of Forest’s first 17 league games of the season, Lingard fell out of favour, appearing in just three of the remaining 21 top-flight matches.

Deemed surplus to requirements, Lingard was allowed to walk out the exit door on a free transfer, and he is now considering his next move.

Nottingham Forest's Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring their second goal with Renan Lodi on November 9, 2022 © Reuters

The 30-year-old has spent the entirety of his career in England, but he has not ruled out the prospect of becoming the latest player to join the Saudi Pro League.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Lingard said: “I’m considering all options. I’ve never ruled out any team or club out, so for me it’s just picking the right team and it’s got to be right for me. I just want to play football at the end of the day and that’s all I want to do.”

Lingard added: “Obviously the project has got to be well suited for me, the team’s got to be moving in the right direction but just regular game time – I’m still hungry.

“Saudi Arabia are doing big things, and in the next couple of years or so, it will be one of the hotspots to go to.

Jesse Lingard in action for Nottingham Forest on August 14, 2022© Reuters

“I’m not really surprised that the big names are moving out there. Like I say, they’re doing big things and it’s something I would consider as well – I’ve not ruled that out either.

“It’s got to be right for me at the end of the day. I’ve got to go on my gut feeling but I’m still hungry and striving for success.”

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund recently took control of the country’s leading four clubs – Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli.

They have been on a spending spree in the early stages of the summer transfer window, recruiting several players from the Premier League.

N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly and Ruben Neves are among those to have completed moves to the Saudi Pro League in recent weeks.

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