Manchester United Transfer Talk: Lingard, Woodward, Arnold

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Manchester United are a complete mess right now- that is obvious to anyone paying attention. A big part of the reason why is Ed Woodward. The club CEO/EVP is slowly on his way out now, at the end of this month, and it remains to be seen how much will change will really occur once he’s gone.

Old Trafford badly needs to do some roster revamping this January transfer window, or they’ll finish outside the top four. The Woodward era, which began when David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson left the club at the end of the 2012-13 season, finally comes to a close (more or less) at the end of this month.

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When the historical fiasco that was the European Super League dissolved in April, it was announced that Woodward would leave the club, but the timetable for that seems to have shifted over time. Was it to be at the end of the season? The calendar year?

Nevertheless change has finally come, sort of, and his replacement is in house- in Richard Arnold. Woodward will remain on the board of the club, until the end of the season in May.

Arnold, 50, has been the club’s managing director since 2013 and he joined the club six years earlier in 2007. He’ll take over the day to day running of the club on Feb. 1.

“I would like to thank Ed for his tireless work on behalf of Manchester United during his nine years as Executive Vice-Chairman and 16 years with the club.

“We are now looking forward to Richard and his leadership team opening a new phase in the club’s evolution, with ambitious plans for investment in Old Trafford, the strengthening of our engagement with fans, and continued drive towards our most important objective – winning on the pitch,” reads a statement from United executive co-chairman Joel Glazer.

This all said, let’s take a look at the latest narratives circulating in the United transfer rumor mill, as Woodward still has one transfer window left to wreak more havoc on the Red Devils roster. He really should have brokered a deal for the sale of Jesse Lingard back in the summer.

It was obvious that there was no place for the English winger, even last season, when he went on loan to West Ham United in February.

With Mason Greenwood further ascending, and Jadon Sancho being acquired, Lingard’s opportunities only continued to decrease.

Now Lingard is more adamant about wanting out, leaving the club, immediately, with way less leverage in transfer negotiation.

According to West Ham Zone: “The Red Devils executives were looking to cash in on Lingard for around £10million in January, but they could be forced to do business for half of that with nobody yet to make an offer.”

That publication cites Claret and Hugh, who report that United “fear West Ham will wait till deadline day before tabling a low-ball bid for Jesse Lingard.” It all sounds like a messy situation that will be bad for United, and they have no one to blame but themselves for that.

On the plus side, Lingard seems like a really good guy, and it’s clear that West Ham is a good fit for him, so it’ll be good to see something beneficial happen there for both parties.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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